Come summer, Fidelity plans to offer advisors and broker/dealers access to two popular wealth-planning tools at bargain prices--Emerging Information Systems Inc.'s NaviPlan wealth planning software suite, and Green Consulting's SkillMark e-learning training program.
Fidelity continues to add services that help advisors tackle clients' wealth planning needs, and to boost the Boston brokerage firm's position in competing for advisor clients against other custodians. In fact, it seems as though both Fidelity and TD Waterhouse Institutional are attempting to exploit advisors' renewed sore spot with Charles Schwab's strategy to dictate what software they can use. Both Fidelity and Waterhouse, which recently began providing Advent Software, Inc.'s, portfolio management solution to its advisor clients, say their new services allow advisors to "maintain their independence." An advisor who custodies assets at Waterhouse can now access Advent's suite of software applications via Veo, Waterhouse's proprietary Web-based account management trading platform, or by installing and running Advent's software on the advisor's own server.
NaviPlan, which will be offered to advisors at a discount, allows advisors to customize their service offerings. Advisors can help clients with simple cash flow analysis or detailed financial plans on estate planning, retirement income planning, stock options, tax and risk planning, charitable giving, and college planning, Fidelity says. Advisors can also conduct Monte Carlo simulations.
One option to advisors is to choose the "Standard" plan, which allows them to evaluate a client's existing financial strategy; analyze their life, disability insurance, and estate planning needs; create duplicate plans and perform multiple "what if" scenarios; and calculate taxes.
NaviPlan "Extended" builds on NaviPlan Standard's options and offers more advanced financial planning tools for sophisticated clients.
Advisors can also integrate Fidelity's brokerage data from the brokerage firm's proprietary analysis, trading, and reporting platform Advisor CHANNEL, allowing them to eliminate the time consuming task of re-entering data into NaviPlan.
Cheap access to SkillMark's e-learning solutions via the Web will also be available to advisors when they log on to Fidelity's AdvisorChannel.com or www.greeneconsults.com. SkillMark offers Web-based courses to both beginner and intermediate skill levels, and covers such topics as disciplines of investments, estate planning, insurance and retirement planning, compensatory stock options, and alternative investments. The courses are approved for continuing education credits for CFPs, CTFA, and for insurance credits in some states, Fidelity says.
A Fidelity spokesperson declined to divulge details about the discounted rates for NaviPlan and SkillMark.