FAQs for Advisors

1. What are the benefits of hiring PlanPrep to create financial plans for my clients?

We have the expertise to help you address the important issues for your clients faster and better. We address all of the relevant decision making information without including a bunch of fluff. We will save and help you make more money with each client, while placing your clients on the right track toward their goals. It can help you inherit your clients’ heirs as your clients as well.

2. What can PlanPrep do differently than my staff?

PlanPrep is only on your payroll when you need our services. We save you money on salaries, office space and equipment, training, and countless hours on the computer. If you’re still not sure if our services are right for you, then please review these questions:

  • Do you have the time to master the software, train your staff to use it, and stay on top of the updates?
  • Does your assistant or paraplanner have the expertise to comb through the client data and analyze it properly?
  • How often do you have to hire new staff to do the planning, only to start the training all over again?
  • What reports should you generate to tell the story for each unique client situation?
  • What’s the highest and best use of your time?
  • How about your assistant or other new hires?
  • Wouldn’t you be better served by delegating to a master of financial planning the same way you hire outside portfolio managers and insurance companies?

3. What does it take for a financial planner to qualify for PlanPrep membership?

We work with advisors who have at least five years of experience in the business and value their time. If you can delegate critical, transparent tasks, this may be right for you.

4. Does PlanPrep provide advice or case assistance before I meet with a client?

Absolutely. You may find it beneficial to discuss a case with PlanPrep before you approach the client to better understand the information you need to gather and the questions to ask in your discovery meeting. Burt Williamson used to take 20 to 40 calls a day from advisors about their clients’ unusual financial matters, so chances are high that he has advised on the same type of situation before.

After you meet with the client, simply email (we have encrypted email) or upload the fact finder and relevant client data along with your notes. We will evaluate the case and give written guidance for you to provide the next steps and recommendations. Note that a fee may apply for this time.

5. How do I leverage PlanPrep’s expertise?

Click on the following links to download the Apply Now Form and read our Outsourcing Agreement. Please fill them out and return to PlanPrep by secure email to bw@planprep.com.  Call us with any questions at 650-730-6175.

Please note that you cannot modify either of these documents. After you submit them, we’ll send you a welcome email on how to get started followed by an encrypted email to which you can reply with client files.

6. How long does it take PlanPrep to complete the work?

Typically, we will have questions on what you submit to us, and we respond with a follow email within three business days. We can have plans back to you within a couple days from having the reply to the email along with any missing data. Changes or corrections requested by you after our work has begun may extend the delivery date and may result in an additional fee.

7. What fact finder should I use?

If you have one that works for you, then keep using it. You do not need to reinvent the wheel, just make the vehicle run more efficiently. We will provide you with a checklist of materials for planning. We have a suite of our own fact finders and plan samples, which are available for purchase (please see the Fee Schedule).

8. What software does PlanPrep use to create plans and reports?

  • eMoney Advisor / WealthVision
  • Microsoft PowerPoint, Word and Excel
  • PDFs

9. Do I need to subscribe to the financial planning software?

Yes. PlanPrep abides by the copyrights and licensing agreement of eMoneyAdvisor. The licensing agreement specifies under what conditions the software may be used.

10. How do I let my clients know about the financial planning services that I’m offering?

We suggest you tell them that you have a new service for a fee, and you’d love to have them come in to see how it works. Whatever you decide, make sure your messaging is consistent with each prospect and client.

11. What about data security? How do I forward client data to PlanPrep, and how does PlanPrep get it back to me?

You can upload scanned files securely into the client’s eMoney vault in the Advisor folder, you can respond to our encrypted email, or you can send documents through your own encrypted email service.

PlanPrep takes precautions to protect your clients’ data as well as yours with encrypted emails and an encrypted hard drive.

We do not accept hard copies of any documents. Note that we retain copies of all documents and files as may be required by law.

12. How much do your services cost?

Click here to see our current Fee Schedule. Note that additional fees may apply for requests to run multiple scenarios or make significant changes after the work is delivered to you.

13. How do I pay for PlanPrep’s service?

We send you an invoice via PayPal. We go to work after payment is received.

14. How do I disclose that PlanPrep is providing financial planning services?

You should consult your attorney, OSJ or compliance department before engaging PlanPrep. You should disclose in your firm’s ADV form that you “may engage third parties to provide financial planning services” for your clients, whether financial planning with us or third party money managers.

You may want or need to be more specific in written and verbal disclosures in naming PlanPrep specifically. We provide a disclosure document you can use to make your clients aware of the relationship you have with PlanPrep.

15. What about record keeping?

We suggest you create a PlanPrep folder with an Admin sub-folder, and place copies in it of our Apply Now Form, Advisor Disclosure Brochure ADV Part 2A, Privacy Policy and Outsourcing Agreement.

16. What do I need to submit to my compliance department?

Each firm has different requirements. You may need to receive prior approval to use any PlanPrep forms, letters, executive summaries and financial analyses prior to showing or delivering them to your clients. Your firm may have specific forms, disclosures and disclaimers that must be used, so it is essential to understand these requirements and provide them to PlanPrep for your first engagement.