|Financial Planning Questionnaire Software|
|Directions and Enlightening Text About How to Conduct Financial Planning Discovery Interviews||How to Get Client Data Back and Forth Electronically (e-mail, Internet downloading, or FTP)||Download a Fact Finding Primer PDF||Download a Fact Finding Tutorial PDF|
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AKA: Fact Finders, Client Discovery Tools, Data Collection Sheets, Risk Tolerance Questionnaires, Client Profile Tools, and Financial Discovery Tools
These financial plan tools are for financial advisors that want to do a much better job than fumbling around with a yellow pad during client interviews.
The only thing of interest to investors is the investment questionnaire, which allows them to self-score multiple choice questions to determine their investment risk tolerance (there's a scoring spreadsheet included that will even average the scores between client and spouse).
These fact finders were initially created in 1988. Since then, they've evolved via thousands of financial planning and investment management clients (and via dozens of suggestions from customers).
These financial planning questionnaires have evolved in the do-or-die world that you live and work in. A non-financial survey or seminar company that makes questionnaire forms for other types of businesses did not create them. So if you're shopping, see if the vendor is selling other types of questionnaires for other types of businesses. If they are, then you'll be getting generic financial plan tools made by people without any financial planning experience, and have never met a real client. They won't do any of the critical jobs you need done.
Fact finding is the heart of the financial planning process. It's also called "discovery" because you're actually exploring the life of a new investor for the first time, and thus "discovering their life's inner-secrets," that are brand new to you.
In many cases, people are so busy with their lives, that by forcing them to sit, stop, and think about their life's goals; you're actually helping them discover things about themselves that they didn't even know before. When this happens, you've made a client and a friend for life (that will usually gladly fess up every referral in their address book).
When a prospect sees the light bulb go off over their heads, sits up straight and acts like they have a new mission in life, and says anything like, "Wow I never knew that about myself before. That's why I'm killing myself working so hard, now I get it!" - then they're now a client that's up for anything you suggest, and your hard work is over.
The only way to get to this point, with most everyone, is to practice using these discovery tools a million times until you can ask the same boring questions over and over again, like you're their best and only friend that really cares about their future happiness. This isn't hype, try it and you will see. It's only a matter of time, hard work, and practice on your part (assuming that you do care).
So every financial planner should have them, and make a major investment in becoming a fact finding (and rapport-building) discovery expert. You'll never reach the level of success you dream about without doing this hard work first.
These fact finders will also save you massive amounts of time, grief, help keep you out of trouble, and will help you make more money.
So now's the time to quit fumbling around and wasting years editing old fragmented financial planning questionnaires you've had since the Stone Age. These are the end results of what you've been working toward since you've been trying to reinvent the wheel yourself, when you should be out building relationships to make real money.
For most every financial plan software module available for sale (see the green right-hand column), there is a corresponding fact finder to collect the needed input data from clients.
If you're just starting out in the business, then these discovery tools will help save you while you're struggling through the start-up period.
Get a jump on your competition and make it look like you've been doing this work for decades. The discovery tools will impress your clients immediately, sometimes before they meet you in person. This will help set the stage for a great long-term relationship.
If you were a high-net worth investor, and you met with two financial planners - one asking random questions here and there just scribbling the answers down and taking notes on a yellow pad, and one with professional financial planning fact finders, whom would you rather do business with?
They are refined continually to qualify prospects, and to get all of the important input information needed for basic to comprehensive financial planning and investment management software.
So if you're writing comprehensive plans using financial planning software, then these data gathering tools will make things a lot easier, and will help collect important information that others don't (so they're not just for use with our financial planning software).
As you know, even people with money can be nutty. These data collection sheets are also great for staying out of trouble and keeping compliance happy. This is because you'll always have what clients told you they wanted on file: Goals, objectives, constraints, investment and insurance suitability, and investment risk tolerance.
So when they have "an episode," you can easily set them straight before it escalates to the Broker Dealer / Finra / SEC level (by pulling them out and showing them what they told you in the past).
Just having completed fact finders (and an Investment Policy Statement Tool) in place before trouble hits just once, can save you thousands of times what they cost. Not to mention the non-financial grief and Finra risks of dealing with a crazy client that "selectively forgot" what they hired you for.
These are the most important tools every financial planner and/or investment manager should have in their toolbox.
They're very inexpensive compared to the benefits, even if you already have financial planning questionnaires. There's going to be much more value with ours, that you can cut and paste to make your own custom financial discovery tools with.
Your financial plan case writer will also love you if you get and use these, because it eliminates most all of the data input and rework problems caused by bad note taking, bad handwriting, outdated / duplicate financial statements, bad spreadsheets, and other piles of folders clients give you (correctly thinking that it's your job to make sense of).
Start doing "your job right," and your paraplanner case writers will love you for a change, instead of the opposite.
Main Financial Planning Fact Finder Features
• There's lots of easy-to-understand explanations and user friendly directions, so clients and prospects will fill some of them out at home, then gladly and quickly return them. This saves you time, and helps to keep your sales "funnel" flowing with new prospects turning into paying clients.
• They have been painstakingly formatted to be beautiful documents.
• There is lots of white space for ease of use, note taking, and to reduce annoying clutter.
• You can change anything you like, as they are just unprotected Word documents (without macros).
• They are not programs, nor are they "interactive" in any way, so data you write or type into them does not magically flow into any other software program. That rarely works well anyway.
• You can edit, cut, paste, insert images and do whatever you want to customize them to fit your business.
• If they don't already have questions you're used to asking, just add them.
• You can print as many as you want for free, instead of having to constantly buy more paper versions.
• They have decent sized fonts so older folks can easily read them.
• They all have great-looking cover pages where you'd enter your firm info, dates, and client's names so it looks like they're truly special to you.
• They have a page of text that explains in plain English, what the whole fact finding process is about. This goes a long way if you like the idea of having people fill them out at home - which saves time and work.
The Financial Plan Fact Finders Come in Three Parts to Help Facilitate the Process
Financial Planning Fact Finding - Phase I:
The first part of the process is gathering mostly "generic" information that prospects already know the answers to. Here there are two choices which gather the same mostly objective data:
Choice one in the first phase of fact finding: Fact Finder Part I is 17 pages, and is usually given in-person as homework, postal mailed or e-mailed to the prospect after they have been screened by the first phone call. This will save you time, especially if you decide not to bring them on board.
It's easy for them to fill out and return (using a pre-stamped return envelope, or e-mail), as it doesn't ask arcane technical financial planning questions. But, it does get them to answer basic screening questions to help qualify them to be one of your new clients. It has:
• A generic and detailed personal information section.
• A complete family information section.
• A section so you can learn about their current advisors (and why they hired and fired so many in the past - this is a big tip off that you may be the next one they go nutty on).
• Other screening questions that may tip you off if they're nutty or prone to causing you big trouble, for little-to-no potential benefit.
• A masterpiece Investment risk tolerance questionnaire section that also serves as input to asset allocation and investment management software.
It gathers everything you'll need to know to manage someone's money, from low- to high-net worth. It has a total of 40 investment suitability questions. 30 are weighted and scored in the risk tolerance category calculating matrix.
Feedback from many clients has shown that they like the option of being able to calculate their own investing risk tolerance, and seeing which of the five most-commonly-used risk categories they fall into.
It also comes with a small spreadsheet for quick and easy calculation (that even averages answers from two people).
• It automatically has them fill out most of the needed Investment Policy Statement input data for you.
• A section where they say exactly what they want you to do for them.
• A pre-mailing or pre-appointment checklist to make sure they send or bring all of the documents you'll need to do the work.
• An asset summary page for a quick snapshot of what prospects have to work with, so you won't spend time with prospects with insufficient assets. If and when they qualify for your services, you'd then use Fact Finder Part III to collect detailed asset data.
Choice two in the first phase of discovery: The 37-page In-Person Fact Finder is more for conducting face-to-face interviews.
It's best used when the financial planner has already decided to spend quality time on the prospect.
It has more emotional and subjective questions, as well as all of the usual objective questions. It also has a lot more space on the right side to write on (you basically ask how they feel about things, then write the answers down on the right-hand column).
This helps you learn how your clients feel in addition to how they think and what they have. This is very important for building long-term trust-based relationships.
It doesn't have any of the arcane technical data, so you'll still have to use Fact Finder Part II for all of that.
The In-Person Fact Finder contains everything listed for Fact Finder Part I, discussed above, plus:
• Emotional and subjective questions: Visions, values, goals, expectations, and timelines.
• More room for note taking.
• Reminders here and there to ask, "And how do you feel about that?"
• Inheritances and estate planning fact finder.
• Risk management and insurance fact finder.
• Non-detailed asset summary for prospect qualification.
Financial Planning Fact Finding: Phase II:
After data in Fact Finder Part I is reviewed, 21-page Fact Finder Part II is used for the second phase. This is for gathering the technical data needed for input into financial plan software (any, not just ours).
It contains technical planning questions such as, "How much income do you want to retire on, and when?" This is used mostly in-person because prospects usually won't know what to do, nor how to answer them without a live person to explain it.
It's sometimes sent with a letter after the initial appointment, or after reviewing Fact Finder Part I, asking them to complete as much as they can, and not to worry about the rest (because it will be covered in the next meeting).
It asks about:
• Incomes and Expenses: A detailed cash flow section for use as inputs into comprehensive / integrated budgeting software. If someone wants to do a budget, or forecast their incomes and expenses, just print these pages, fact find, and you'll be their hero minutes after you run the numbers (especially if you get to the bottom of why there's always deficits, and who is causing them.
• Comprehensive college planning, and college assets fact finder.
• Insurance planning sections that cover every type of insurance. This part also helps keep you out of compliance and E&O trouble.
The unique and comprehensive life insurance section allows you to estimate the correct lump sum amounts easily without the use of canned capital needs software produced by life insurance companies.
Clients can do it themselves, or you can do it right in front of them so they'll believe you. This has made many on-the-spot life insurance sales, even before using an actual life insurance calculator to dial the needs down to the dollar.
• An estate planning discovery section.
• And of course, a comprehensive retirement planning section.
Links to all of the financial plan software mentioned above can be found on the right-hand column on this page.
Financial Planning Fact Finding: Phase III:
Fact Finder Part III is a 19-page Asset Fact Finder.
Its main purpose is to help make an organized list all of their investment assets needed for input into asset allocation, retirement, and other investment software. It's also designed to gather detailed asset and liability information, for calculating net worth.
It asks all of the right questions to gather data on just about every type of investment asset and liability.
If you're doing the computer work yourself, or working with a case writer, then this will help save you from doing work over and over again. This is because it helps makes sense of the usual haphazard piles of outdated / duplicate brokerage statements clients' love to give advisors, because they think it's totally your job to sort it all out for them (news flash, it is your job).
It also has questions to help you determine why they bought something, why they kept it, when, the future plans for it, basis, and most everything else you may want to know about all of their investments.
Miscellaneous Information About Our Fact Finders
After gathering their personal information, data needed for input into financial planning software, an understanding of what investments they currently have and will have in the future, and what their goals are; then you'll have everything needed to manage their money and forecast their financial future with financial plan software. Once you "know your client," then you're off and running in the profitable part of this great game.
The Existing Client Fact Finder is for use when just updating existing client's investment and retirement planning information (for use with Real World Retirement and other retirement programs). It also refreshes Investment risk tolerance to see if their life changed enough to warrant changes in their investment portfolio.
So if you like to have clients come in semi-annually or so, then this is the tool to use to just get the basic facts to see what needs to be tweaked (without having to go through the whole deal over again). It's just the retirement and investment fact finders pasted together.
The Business Fact Finder has some generic questions regarding a small businesses: General info, stock issues, history, related businesses, other advisor contacts info, valuation, exit strategies, document inventory, employee benefits, employee / key people census. It's not a huge comprehensive discovery tool for corporations, it just helps if your client is a small-business owner and they're letting you into that part of their life.
Answer to FAQs: The Risk Tolerance Questionnaire is part of the Investment Fact Finder. This is because the Investment Fact Finder is designed to collect all of the information needed to manage someone's money (except asset data).
Then the Investment Fact Finder is part of Fact Finder Part I. This is because everything in Fact Finder Part I is simple enough that people will fill it out themselves and mail it back to the advisor. It's the questions in Fact Finder Part II that make people's eye gloss over with things they have no clue how to answer (so that's usually done in-person).
The Investment Fact Finder is also part of the In-person Fact Finder, which replaces Fact Finder Part I when conducting in-person interviews.
Then for money managers, Fact Finder Part III (AKA the Asset Fact Finder) is used for helping make sense out of piles of financial statements clients give you.
So if you only manage money, and don't make financial plans, then you won't need Fact Finder Part II (which is for gathering the data needed to input into financial plan software).
You'll only need Fact Finder Part I (which has the Investment Fact Finder, which has the Risk Tolerance Questionnaire).
Then you'll get some value from having both Fact Finder Part III, and also the IPS Software (which is why there's a bundle for that on the pricing table below).
|Financial Planning Software Modules For Sale
(are listed below)
Our Unique Financial Services
Miscellaneous Pages of Interest
Buy now with your Visa or MasterCard by calling (734) 369-0580
|Financial Planning Fact Finder Prices||Support Doesn't Apply to Fact Finders|
|Investment Fact Finder and Investment Risk Tolerance Questionnaire (Part of Fact Finder Part I, Existing FF, and the In-Person FF, 10 pages)||$37|
|Cash Flow / Incomes / Expenses (Family budgeting, part of Fact Finder Part II, 9 pages)||$18|
|Estate Planning Summary / Insurance (Life insurance, Disability, LTC, and P&C) Summary Fact Finder (Part of Fact Finder Part II, 10 pages)||$13|
|College Planning (Part of Fact Finder Part II, 6 pages)||$6|
|Retirement Planning (Part of Fact Finder Part II, 6 pages)||$11|
|Existing Client (Refreshes investment and retirement data, 15 pages)||$40|
|Business Owner Fact Finder (Employee census data and generic biz info, 11 pages)||$10|
|Fact Finder Part I (Basic family info, includes the investment Fact Finder, 17 pages)||$50|
|Fact Finder Part II (Arcane personal financial questions of a technical nature that people won't fill out on their own because they won't understand, 31 pages)||$36|
|Asset Fact Finder Part III (For collecting detailed investment / asset data, 19 pages)||$24|
|In-Person Interview Fact Finder (37 pages)||$60|
|Fact Finders Grouped Together with Discounted Prices|
|Fact Finder Parts I and II||$75|
|Fact Finder Parts I, II, and III||$85|
|In-Person Fact Finder with Fact Finder Part II||$80|
|In-Person Fact Finder with Fact Finder Parts II and III||$100|
|All Fact Finders Listed Above||$125|
|For Advisors that Only Manage Money and Don't Make Financial Plans: Fact Finder Part 1, Part III, and IPS Template||$90|
|All Fact Finders Listed Above with Investment Policy Statement Software||$150|
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