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sevans's avatar
Social Sightseer
5 months ago

Overlaying key life events against portfolio balance reports

We have been discussing as a team if it would be more meaningful for clients for us to overlay key life events (the purchase of a house, paying for a child's wedding, receiving an inheritance etc) over a Portfolio Balance report so the clients have some context as to the drops and peaks in their portfolio balance over a period of time.

Obviously we could capture key life events as a data point moving forwards and to some degree populate them looking backwards as well, but thought it would be an interesting addition for our clients. Interested to hear of any other firms taking this approach, and how you go about it?

6 Replies

  • Anne-Graham's avatar
    Icon for Advisely Index Top 10 rankAdvisely Index Top 10

    That's a great idea sevans. We work with people mostly planning for retirement so we generally incorporate the 'wish list' into the modelling. This would typically include travel, car purchase, possible gifts to children. We also do scenario modelling which generally revolves around downsizing and gifting and this not only shows the client what is affordable, but better yet, promotes valuable conversation which enhances the client/adviser relationship. I think your idea of producing a Personal Life Events Report, especially if it's visual, would be greatly appreciated by your clients.  

  • Jessica-Lamb's avatar
    Icon for Advisely Partner rankAdvisely Partner


    Great thoughts. Looking at this from a software perspective, you can use XPLAN and key milestones looking forward using Xtools, Xtools+ and my new favourite tool Cashflow Visualise. 

    But looking back on milestones from a visual perspective is a little more tricky. Some great performance reports from IPS display the clients' historical performance with peaks and troughs. Where this becomes more difficult to automate is the reason for troughs (and the peaks too). The idea of labeling the graph is great. I hope that further development is made in this space. Goals-based advice and review are very important. 

    One thing I have seen work well in this space, utilising XPLAN, is to use Goals to not only track future goals but review past goals achieved. Having a Goal Tracker built into your goals group is an easy way to achieve this. A simple choice field on goal tracking with options like, Completed, Pending, In Progress, Superceeded, Not Achieved etc. Then your review report can output these goals in a grid format of Goals Achieved, Goals in Progress, and Goals for the future. Cross referencing the past (achieved) goals to the graph of their investments. 

    Don't forget - Client Portal has a great graph under the Analysis tab that shows Net Transfer and Payments (Green line in Graph Below). Using this in a report would be helpful to show monies in and out. 


    Hope this helps!

  • sevans .

    Providing clients with prompts and anchors around life stage successes and events is so important.  Helping people engage with their money and relating wins and losses or movements to behaviors and choices is also critical. Providing them in a variety of formats that they can relate to is equally important.  Love the fact that you are looking at ways to improve the story sharing. I think the extra distinction is categorising those areas where they have complete control and those where they have less control. Market movements would be one where there is less direct control for example.

    I think for clients who sometimes question what has happened to their portfolio balance over a period of time it would help if it is auto grabbing these events.



  • JennyB's avatar
    Icon for Advisely Board rankAdvisely Board

    It's a great idea sevans and agree Anne-Graham visual would be awesome, it's something we've been talking about.  Does anyone do a visual version as I think that would provide the most impact for clients and I'd love to see what it looks like.

  • Great question sevans and an interesting approach to portfolio balance reports. Would love to hear what approaches the community has taken with this!

  • Hi Sevans, a great topic this one!

    We've spent a lot of time working on efficiences with our processes, but having additional tools to assist with the goals tracking would be great. When it comes to a review, we generally just use the review report and some additional analysis documenation. We talk a lot about the clients situation and how they are tracking, however no visuals to show the journey. This has worked so far, but as we know pictures say a thousand words! 

    There's some great responses here and mention of the goals tool in xplan. I'm not familiar with that tool, so any feedback about that would be great and does anyone have that pulling into review reports? Is it a seperate report? Also, how do you use it with a client and is it easy to use?