Frequently Asked Questions
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MoneyGuidePro® (MGP) combines sophisticated financial planning with ease-of-use (for advisors) and clear, concise results (for clients). We believe that's a winning combination. MGP is the only comprehensive financial planning package that is completely web-based, and is the only goal-based planning system sophisticated enough to produce a high quality Financial Plan.
We developed the MoneyGuidePro® (MGP) financial planning software for the "real world" where you and your clients live. We believe that the proper focus for financial planning software is the client, and our design philosophy and planning approach centers on what is most important to clients. Our mission is to assist you in providing reliable, complete, and understandable Plans for your clients.
We begin with what's most important to clients -- their goals. Clients want to know how they can use their financial resources to accomplish their goals. Next, we focus on presenting results that are clear and understandable. If clients don't understand their results, they are less likely to take action, and more likely to be dissatisfied with recommendations.
Third, we provide What If Scenarios so that you and your clients can explore multiple alternatives, and can see how sensitive a Plan is to tax changes or increased longevity. Fourth, we provide "Stress Testing" and Risk Management so that the client can see what might happen to a Plan across a range of real world uncertainties (e.g., down markets, premature death, or the need for long-term care).
Finally, MGP is interactive—you can make adjustments during a client meeting, clients can be involved in the creation of their Plan, and clients can access their Plan, via the web, from their home or office.
In the MoneyGuidePro® Planning System, you can create Financial Plans (goal-based planning, including risk management), Asset Allocation Plans, and Lifetime Income Plans (Monte Carlo simulations on a single income stream). MoneyGuidePro® Planning also has a uniquely powerful "sharing" capability that allows you to collaborate with your client or with other advisors over the internet. The key features of MoneyGuidePro® Planning are provided below.Overall Planning
The Asset Allocation portfolios were created for MoneyGuidePro® by Harold Evensky, CFP, who is an advisor to PIEtech℠. Harold has thoroughly documented his process for portfolio development in his book, Wealth Management (Irwin, 1997). Chapters 7, 8, and 9 (titled Investment Theory, Asset Allocation, and Optimization, respectively), pp. 175 - 279, provide an in-depth explanation of the underlying theories and Harold's application of those theories to the practicalities of real-world investing.
The Advisor Options section (accessed from the Main Menu page) provides the capability for you to configure your version of MoneyGuidePro®. In Advisor Options, the "Create Portfolios" section allows you to change (i.e., add, delete, or rename) the asset classes and model portfolios. Also in this section, you can enter "projected" return and correlation information if you want to use the MoneyGuidePro® projected (rather than historical) returns feature.
Yes. The Monte Carlo Card Game is included with the MoneyGuidePro® Planning System. The Card Game is an interactive, educational investment concept that helps an advisor explain how variability of returns affects clients' results. Deena Katz's book, Tools and Templates for Your Practice (Bloomberg Press, 2001) features the Card Game in Chapter 6, Client Education.
In her introduction to the Card Game, Deena says, "It is not easy to explain many of the investment concepts so important to the well being of our clients in a way that's meaningful. While we can explain the issues, and our clients may intellectually understand concepts such as market volatility and real cash flow, getting idea across at an emotional level is really tough. Over the years, I've learned that as much as we would like a client to know how he will react in volatile times, he does not. No matter how you pose the question, he is only guessing at how he will feel when his investment drops.
"Our friends from PIEtech℠ worked with us to write the Monte Carlo Card Game, a program to demonstrate returns, risk, and volatility in a manner that allows our clients to experience how these attributes might feel in the future. The Monte Carlo Card Game comes closer than anything I have seen to giving the client a sense of virtual volatility." (page 131)
For more information refer to Deena Katz's book Tools and Templates for Your Practice.
PIEtech℠, Inc. is a privately-owned corporation whose sole commitment is to the development of great financial planning software. That has kept us a focused, committed group of people. Our key designers and developers have a total of sixty years of service with us, averaging 12 years apiece. We're a competitive team. We know that we are miles ahead of our competition and are determined to stay that way.
We've built our business the old-fashioned way: with our own money. In recent years, while most tech companies were focusing on raising tons of money and spending it faster, we were concentrating our energy and income on product development. At the height of the dot.com frenzy in the late 1990s, our classic business model may have seemed out-of-date. In the 2000s, it has proven wise.
In the end, we are doing what most of you are doing: providing a better product and service, while seeking a reasonable return on our investment.
We're techies so you don't have to be. We obsess over the details of calculations. We extensively debate the relative merits of alternative ways of presenting information. We continually review our user interfaces, looking for ways to keep the inputs and results streamlined and straight-forward while not compromising accuracy and sophistication. We test everything intensively to verify both mainstream and off-the-wall scenarios.
We live, eat and breathe this stuff! And have since 1985! We're not rookies. MoneyGuidePro® is our fifth generation of software. You benefit from that evolution, team continuity and obsession with accuracy.
The acronym PIE stands for Plan - Invest - Enjoy. We believe that the main purpose of financial planning is to assist clients with their financial needs in a way that frees them from worry, and allows them to go enjoy their lives. Hence, "Plan" better, "Invest" smarter, then "Enjoy" life more.
Harold Evensky and Deena Katz, our advisors, both, talk about financial planning as a periodic - not daily - process. They encourage their clients to periodically review their plan and their investments, and then go on with enjoying their lives. We think that makes good personal and financial sense.
The partners in the firm are Robert D. (Bob) Curtis, who's the founder and President, Antonio (Tony) Leal, who's CTO and Karla B. Curtis, who's Vice President of Operations.
Bob has over 25 years experience as an innovator in the software industry. For the past 24 years, Bob has designed financial planning software for the financial services industry, and has been a leader in developing easy-to-use, interactive software for use by advisors, together with their clients.
In 1997, Bob founded PIEtech℠, Inc. As President and CEO of PIE, Bob oversees product development, business development and the day to day operations of the company. In addition, he serves as lead designer of the MoneyGuidePro® financial planning system.
MoneyGuidePro® was one of the first financial planning programs created for interactive web-based use. In May of 2005, MGP was selected by Forrester Research as one of the top three financial planning software programs. Today, MoneyGuidePro® is used by over 21,000 financial service professionals.
Prior to forming PIETech, Bob served as President and CEO of 2 organizations; Compulife, Inc., an investment and insurance marketing firm, and Compulife Investor Services, a registered broker/dealer. Through its work with bank brokerage firms, Compulife became one of the top 10 marketing organizations in the industry, and was a consistent leader in its use of sales technology. It was while leading Compulife, that Bob and his development team began creating the first generation of MoneyGuidePro® financial planning software.
Before joining Compulife, Bob owned and operated a software development company, providing accounting software for small businesses.
Bob has a B.S. in Finance from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA and is also the author of "Monte Carlo Mania," published in Retirement Income Redesigned: Master Plans for Distribution, published by Bloomberg Press in 2006.
Tony has 23 years experience designing and implementing computer systems for client companies. Tony has technical and management responsibility for all software product development in PIE. In this role, Tony manages the development of the MoneyGuidePro® systems, and is the system architect for all customized versions of our products.
Tony joined Compulife, Bob's prior company, in 1991, where he also had responsibility for product development. Tony began his current role at PIEtech℠ in 1997.
Prior to joining Compulife, Tony was a System Engineer and Technical Project Manager for Unisys Corporation. His expertise included troubleshooting, resolving issues and gaining customer satisfaction with Unisys large systems accounts.
Tony has a B.S. in Computer Science and Information Systems from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC.
Karla has managed the development and deployment of computer systems in various business environments for over twenty years. As Vice President of Operations for PIEtech℠, Karla is responsible for product quality assurance, internal operations and staff support.
Karla joined PIEtech℠ at its inception in 1997, after working as a Project Manager for Compulife for the previous two years. Prior to joining Compulife, Karla owned a successful training and consulting business, whose clients included IBM Corp., The Library of Congress, and the U.S. Marine Corps.
Karla was a Program Manager for IBM Corp. in the Washington, D.C. metro area from 1979-1990, responsible for overall development and customer satisfaction for a range of state-of-the-art computer systems.
Karla has a B.S. in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Missouri, and a M.S. in Organizational Development from American University in Washington, D.C.
Evensky and Katz are consultants to PIEtech℠. We first met Harold and Deena in 1995 as we were seeking in-depth consulting on financial planning processes and practices. It was quickly apparent that we shared a common set of values as well as similar perspectives of what is important in financial planning products and services.
They are successful and nationally well-respected. Their knowledge, experience and philosophy are reflected throughout MoneyGuidePro®.
PIEtech℠, Inc., the developer of moneyguidepro.com, is committed to protecting your clients' privacy and ensuring the security of their information on our web site.
PIEtech℠ will never disclose or share clients' personal information with any third party, unless required by law to do so (for example, to comply with a subpoena).
We use secure server software (SSL) encryption, which is the industry standard for secure data transfer software, to ensure data transmitted through the Internet is protected against unauthorized access. The secure server software (SSL) encrypts all information you and your client input before it is sent to us, and all data we collect is protected against unauthorized access. This technology helps ensure that clients' personal and financial information remains safe and private.
If a client feels uncomfortable having their data "out on a web site," the first accommodation to make is to not enter their Social Security number (in the Client Profile). The SSN is not a required field; it's there for an advisor's convenience to uniquely identify clients. Without a SSN, the only identifiable information is the clients' name and their state of residence.
If they're still uncomfortable, offer to enter them into MoneyGuidePro® using an "assumed" last name. (If you do this, please remember that the "assumed" last name is the name that will print on the Client Reports.) You might even put their actual last name in the Notes field (also in the Client Profile), so you can remember who they really are.
Finally, there are probably some clients who just won't be comfortable with having their data "out there on some web site," and there may be nothing you can say that will make a difference.
If you want to maintain your own copy of information that you've entered into MoneyGuidePro® and/or presented to your client, you can save copies of Client Reports to your own computer. When you create a Client Report, it is displayed as a PDF, with the Adobe Acrobat Reader control bar just above the Report. Click on the "diskette" icon, and you can enter the directory, folder, and file name where you'd like to save the Client Report. This electronic file is stored on your computer and you can access it at any time.