“Those who fail to plan, plan to fail. If Voyant’s newly released online financial planning tool has anything to say about it, failing to plan will be a thing of the past. Voyant showcased its free financial planning tool at DEMO 08 being held this week in Palm Desert, CA. I’ve spent some time using the financial planning tool, and it has real potential. Here’s how Voyant describes it’s tool-
Voyant @Home helps people understand the big-picture impact of life-changing events and their long-term financial implications — from the birth of a child to the early retirement of a spouse. Unlike one-dimensional personal finance software, expense aggregators and budget calculators, the product features interactive forecasts, “what if” scenarios and online collaboration tools that give consumers more control and customization than traditional financial planning options. Even better, Voyant @Home is a free, Web-based Internet application that allows users to manage up-to-the-minute plan information from the convenience and privacy of their home, office or favorite coffee shop.
This tool is not light on features. In fact, it takes some time to enter all your financial data into the system. Here’s a screen shot of one of the main summary pages:
What I find so appealing about Voyant is that it looks at your finances over your lifetime. The screenshot above shows a timeline Voyant generates based on data you provide it. It then allows you to plan for major life expenses as far into the future as you’d like, such as your child’s college expenses, a future wedding, or that trip around the world you’re planning 20 years from now. The system calls for entering a substantial amount of your financial data, including income, retirement and taxable investments, expenses and debt. I’m still working with it and will provide a more in depth review soon, but some of its features include–
- Timeline: defines key life stages and events; foresees important financial obstacles and opportunities.
- Simulations/Illustrations: demonstrates the impact of life-changing events such as birth, marriage and retirement; illustrates products and services such as life insurance, investments and loans that support personal financial goals.
- Real-Time Snapshots: compares current account balances to established goals; defines and tracks action items.
- Collaboration: supports secure communication with designated community members including friends, family, employers, and professional advisors.
- Data Mining/Analytics: recommends areas for potential improvement based on established industry norms such as fees and coverage rates.
You can get more information about the financial planning tool and download it for free at Voyant.