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Xplan Hacks

Your paraplanning questions, answered

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6 days ago

TNT Group director (and Advisely expert) Dela Dzadey and Iress product manager Lana Graham recently jumped onto Advisely to answer all your burning paraplanning questions.

They covered everything from how to best maximise your efficiency as paraplanners to optimising advice production with Xplan modelling tools like Xtools+.

Here are four of the most interesting conversations that came out of their AMA: 

Q: I always found it a challenge to reduce the time it took me to write an SOA as I was always tempted to go into too much detail! What are the low value areas you see paraplanners spending too much time on?

Dela: We work across several different SOA wizards and templates, and we find the wizards with sections that don't seem to feed into anything in the plan (and templates that don't run in logical order) can be very time consuming to work on. 

The final area that eats away at our time is flowcharts! We are still looking and open to any suggestions for a simple and quick flowchart tool.

Q: Any tips on reducing the load time when navigating between Scenarios, or even pages within an XTools scenario? This can sometimes take up to 5 seconds or longer to load a new page, which over time working on a plan can drain on productivity.

Lana: Below is a trick I learnt from a paraplanner shortly after joining Iress. 

In Google Chrome, right click your mouse on the Xtools tab and select Duplicate. This will give you a second window, where you can navigate to another Xtools screen.

I use this approach while testing, to check the impact of my changes on another part of the projection. You can use it, for example, to:

  • Cash out lump sums from the Super Display screen and
  • See the impact on Cashflow Consolidated.

Note that you should use this method on one client scenario at a time. Switching between two separate scenarios in this way can corrupt your data entry.

Something else: We’re mindful that calculations can slow the screens, which is why we are gradually adding the ‘Click to Update’ feature (example below at the bottom of the Surplus screen).

In the surplus screen, we have set up the screen so it only calculates when necessary, and when you “Click to Update.”

If there is a particular input that you feel is refreshing the calculations unnecessarily, could you please let us know by lodging a support request? We’ll look at adding a Click to Update.

Please see this Community page for How to lodge a support request.

Q: Dela, in your latest piece, you talked about the increasing demand paraplanning services and how external paraplanners have "never been busier". What would you say is the primary contributing factor here? Is it just the increasing complexity of the advice proposition? Or are planners leaning more on paraplanning support so as to scale up their operations? Or both/neither? 

Dela: There are definitely some 'complex' areas of advice that we paraplanners so more frequently than advisers, so they do lean on us to have that expertise. We are, however, finding that the increase in demand for paraplanning services is across all complexities and even review documents.

Most advisers I speak to feel that their time is being drained by many areas that aren't client facing (administration, research, ongoing services, compliance). They want to have a trusted partner that can handle the bulk of this for them, while they can focus on seeing clients. Experienced paraplanners give the advisers confidence that strategy discussions and research of products can be done in a time efficient and compliant manner. 

That then frees up the adviser's time to see more clients - leading to more advice and work for the paraplanners too!

Q: I'd like to know how to customise the return on an investment profile selected for a superannuation account in an Xtools scenario. I know it's possible for non-super assets but can this option be applied to super accounts only?

Lana: You can set a custom return for super. Note that you need to change the Investment Profile to one of the standard investment profiles instead of the Client, Partner or Joint Risk Profile. You can see the difference between Bob and Betty's Rates in the screen shot below:

A couple of other points:

  1. Your licensee may have set a limit on the returns you use, so that it can’t exceed the return for the investment profile selected. In this case, if you want to maximise the return projected, you may need to select the most aggressive investment profile.

  2. Did you know you can adjust all of the investment returns in a single place under Investment Returns? See below:

Keep an eye out on the discussions section here for upcoming AMAs.

Updated 5 days ago
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