For financial advisors, switching to a new financial planning software is no trivial decision. This topic—specifically switching from “eMoney to RightCapital”—has been so popular in the Good Advisors Finish First (GAFF) online community, that founder John Stadtmueller reached out to us to see if we could help find advisors who had made the switch to RightCapital.
Lisa Grefe, currently Wealth Advisor at Northwest Wealth Management, had written an in-depth article for Advisorpedia last year, “5 Steps to Ensure Your Tech Stack Effectively Serves Today’s Clients,” and Jonathan Kiehl, CFP®, founder of Evenkiehl Financial Planning, had recently posted about his switch from MoneyGuidePro on Twitter. So we asked them if they’d share their experience—and we’re very lucky they said “yes”!
In May of 2023, John, Lisa, and Jonathan hosted a panel discussion, “Advisor Perspectives: Building a New Tech Stack and Transitioning to RightCapital,” where they discussed the good, bad, why, and how behind switching to RightCapital.
Below are the highlights from the discussion (but you can also watch the full session here).
Why were you looking to switch to RightCapital?
At Lisa’s old firm, they had noticed client engagement was low with their previous software, eMoney. “The feedback was that it was harder to use and visually, it was not as appealing,” for their mostly younger, tech savvy clients. The two focuses for them when choosing something new were improving their client experience and their client engagement. “We found RightCapital more visually appealing, in the budgeting part. They also had a one-page Snapshot…it was a really easy way for (clients) to look at the plan, and not as a big stack of paper.”
Jonathan had used MoneyGuidePro at a previous firm before starting his own RIA and had found it to be more of an advisor tool. “We would trot it out during client meetings and it would be this great, impressive plan that we would show clients and if they wanted any more information, we’d print out a 60-page report and send them on their way. That didn’t really sit well with me and I wanted something that was a little bit more client-facing or client-first. In looking at RightCapital, the two things that really stood out to me were the cohesiveness of the platform and the visuals.”
He went on to discuss the cohesiveness. “You have the account aggregation, the secure document vault, the mobile app, and it’s all a cohesive interface. It looks the same whether I'm presenting a financial plan, or whether clients are logging into their client portal to see their net worth statement, or to do some work with the budgeting tool. It’s very familiar to them, it’s not this foreign thing when they come into a financial planning meeting…When I was with MoneyGuidePro, a lot of the things were add-ons, so we could add on account aggregation, but I think we were using a third-party aggregator, it looked different, our client mobile app looked different, it was a little disjointed.”
What happened after you switched?
Lisa noted that once her firm moved to RightCapital, “Clients were more engaged; more clients were keeping track of their monthly budget. The one-page Snapshot was a big thing for us. They just came out with a couple different visuals of cash flows over time and that’s really cool and people are liking that as well.” In general, “We were using it more and clients were using it more, so we considered that a win-win.”
For Jonathan, “The decision has been validated a number of different times with clients…I talked to a client who I am transitioning to a different custodian…he just wanted to know, ‘do I still have my client portal with RightCapital,’ so that was the most important thing for him, to have that. That’s always a great validation, when a client is that invested in the software you’re using.”
What do you miss about your old software?
Lisa shared, “We really liked the Decision Center in eMoney, on the advisor side, to be able to put in different things that could happen to clients and see what that looks like, at the end of the day, though, we found on the client side, that wasn’t as important to them.” She continued, “I think eMoney is a very good software…it just became ‘what’s right for our firm?’”
Jonathan agreed with Lisa that what he missed about MoneyGuidePro was on the advisor's side. “The parts that I miss are more, ‘This is kind of a fun, geeky thing for the advisors to play with.’ MoneyGuidePro has their Play Zone, where you can stack four different plans and play around with lots of different data points and see how it affects the numbers…but I only ever had one client use it, because they just weren’t interested in it.”
While you’re here, we’d like to call out some other tips from Lisa and Jonathan on choosing the right tech stack for your business. (It might also help to review popular industry surveys of other advisors, such as those produced by Kitces and T3.)
Lisa mentioned that she sat in on a lot of demos, to really get a feel for each platform she was evaluating. Many companies offer a trial as well—RightCapital is available for free for fourteen days after the demo.
Consider which systems each planning software integrates with, especially if you’ve already fallen in love with your CRM or custodian, for example. Jonathan spoke about how his custodian integrations with RightCapital “have been flawless…there’s been no issues whatsoever.”
Lisa also recommended thinking about the future: “Where you are now is important, but also consider the future of the firm, where the industry is going, and what that is going to look like for you and your team.”
For more on Good Advisors Finish First, visit their website. For more on RightCapital, schedule a 1:1 demo with one of our product specialists.