Suntrust Bank is releasing an online product this month that combines two planning tools to allow users to integrate financial information in one place, with the ability to test scenarios that can impact their financial plans.
The new product, which is available to Chattanooga residents, combines two platforms-MoneyGuidePro and eMoney-in an effort to fill a void and provide users more control in financial planning.
The product is called SummitView, and it’s available to consumers with $250,000 or more in investable assets.
“A lot of time, clients would have to use two separate programs, and [the programs] wouldn’t talk to each other,” which led to having to do duplicate work, Meghan Scanlon Roach, high net-worth client adviser, said.
SummitView is meant to be more of a one-stop shop, Tom Lasley, regional financial planner for Suntrust, said.
It is meant to give customers a broader, practical picture of their finances. It shows them where they stand in real time in relation to their financial goals.
“In one view, they can see their entire financial picture-their investments, banking, properties, they can see it all in one place,” he said.
The product also has a secure online vault-like a virtual safe deposit box-where users can keep important documents, such as wills or insurance policies.
That might come in handy for people who like to travel, officials said. One potential customer has already expressed that the online vault would be a good place to keep a copy of passports, so it could be accessed from anywhere in the world if the physical copy were lost.
The product allows users to run analytics and change variables to see how that would make their entire financial picture different. For example, a user could adjust their retirement date or see what might happen if an unexpected expense came along.
Users can see how market shifts impact their finances.
“It’s driven by live data,” Roach said. “That’s what’s really important-the fact that we’ve got all this data behind the scenes helping drive the financial plan that can change overnight. It’s feeding live information. It’s very powerful.”
Suntrust employees consulted Dr. Joseph Coughlin of MIT’s Age Lab about the emotional side of managing one’s finances. His research guided the tool’s design, which is aimed at what customers want, officials said.
According to Suntrust officials, some distinctive aspects of the tool include:
-The “play zone” feature allows clients to “stress test” their financial plan before actually taking action, giving them greater confidence in and control over their plan.
-A “confidence zone” meter tells clients whether their current financial strategy will allow them to meet their financial goals.
-The secure online vault provides a place for clients to store important digital documents, such as insurance policies, wills and copies of passports.
-Permissions settings allow clients to determine what personal information their adviser can see, giving them more control.