Our financial planning platform, eMoney, made a major announcement last week. They were bought by Fidelity. There was an immediate reaction to the news around the financial services community. There were some voices of reason among the negativity and even some positive reactions. I wanted to let the news settle a bit before reacting and explaining it to clients. I am still not sure this is something you care to know but one of our core values is transparency.
Our first reaction to the news was not not panic. I stay very in touch with the technology side of our industry and I know there are tons of phenomenal people constantly working on amazing planning tools. If I need to I can do a financial plan with a calculator. Usability, ease of integration and the client-side website are the things we hold important in our planning solution.
eMoney is considered by many to be the “best of breed” planning software in our community. Its cost is relatively high but so is its value. We did, however, contemplate making a switch about 18 months ago because we felt its interface and usability was falling behind. But, they announced they were redesigning the client-side site and redoing the advisor-side of their system. We waited. The improvements were worth the wait. We absolutely love where things are now.
We make two promises to clients. First, if Fidelity lets eMoney fall behind we will move on to something better. Second, if Fidelity decides they are going to mine the data in eMoney for any purpose we will move on. Neither of those things are acceptable.
The announcement by Fidelity claims they plan to leave eMoney as a standalone entity. The founder and CEO is staying on for now as well. This leads to the question….then why buy them? The highly respected, Michael Kitces, believes it was probably for eMoney’s client facing site. I tend to agree with him. Hopefully this means it will get even better.
Lastly, I think this is good for the overall planning community. eMoney is the leader and has been for years. I think it has lead to a lack of innovation in the space. This is a huge opportunity for some of the other tools to grow and try to take some of eMoney’s marketshare. I look forward to the innovation.
If you have any questions, let us know.