Financial Planning Consultants


Is Plan BUILDER FINRA reviewed?

Financial Planning Consultants recently was advised of a successful review of the Plan Builder comprehensive financial planning software by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

FINRA was created in July 2007 by consolidating NASD and the member regulation, enforcement and arbitration roles of the New York Stock Exchange. The organization is dedicated to investor protection and market integrity through effective and efficient regulation and complimentary compliance and technology-based services.

FINRA oversees 5,100 brokerage firms, about 174,000 branch offices and more than 675,000 registered securities representatives. One of their roles is to review computer software programs used with the public to ensure the software is consistent with applicable standards for communicating with the public.

Plan Builder was reviewed in 1999 and as a result we made changes to six reports to bring the software into compliance with what were then the NASD requirements.   

Since that time Plan Builder has been enhanced, improved and features added, so it was time to again have the system reviewed.  FINRA returned this filing with no objections on the first submission. That is quite a feat; almost everyone can find something they do not like about anything. They however gave us a clean bill of health immediately.

For an original copy of the FINRA no objection letter please contact:  Please add FINRA no objection letter request to the subject line of your e-mail.

What makes Plan BUILDER unique?

Two things separate Plan BUILDER from other comprehensive financial planning programs:

  • Scenario Manager – this powerful feature allows you to sit with a client and answer their “what-if questions” immediately, on the computer screen. This motivates the client to take action TODAY. No more setting another appointment so you can “run the numbers,” lose momentum and have to start all over again a week or two later.
  • Financial Notebook – probably the least favorite activity in financial planning is entering the client’s data into the computer. With this exclusive application, you provide your prospects and clients a guided interview that captures their data. They run the application in the privacy of their home securely on their own computer and at a time that is convenient to them. Then they can send you an encrypted file. Five keystrokes later you have the entire client’s data in PlanBUILDER ready to begin reviewing and analyzing.

Is data entry difficult.

No, PlanBUILDER provides you with two Adobe PDF files that you can print and give to your prospects and clients. There is even space on the form for you to have them personalized at a local printer if you wish. There is a short form for simple plans or those cases when you might not be charging a fee. The standard form is only 8 pages long with large spaces in which the client writes. Both forms match the input screens EXACTLY so anyone can enter the data. Better yet, use the Financial Notebook the client completes themselves and in 5 keystrokes creates a file you can import directly into PlanBUILDER....


Can I install the software on more than one computer?

Yes, the License allows you to install the software on as many computers as you need to support your practice. The only requirement is that each professional own their own license. In other words in an office with multiple planners, each must buy a license and can put the software on as many computers as each needs. For support staff shared by several planners, only one installation is necessary and client files can be shared through the Import/Export functionality of the software.


Can I create a financial plan with the Demo?

You sure can. Call today for a 30-day fully functional demo version of Plan Builder complete with support during the demo period. Your first plan can pay for the software.


Is toll-free telephone support available?

Yes, between the hours of 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM EST, e-mail support is always an option. 


What about training?

We conduct classroom training every month in Middletown, Ohio (just north of Cincinnati) and travel around the country doing one-day workshops as the opportunity and need arises. Web training is also available in 2-hour increments.


How are income taxes calculated?

The income tax calculations are powered by CCH Tax Research. The tax tables for federal and state are updated every year to reflect all the know affects on calculations made by PlanBUILDER. With PlanBUILDER you do not need to estimate or guess at what a client’s tax bracket might be in the future.


The program even knows whether a client should itemize or take the standard deduction and makes that adjustment throughout the years.


How does PlanBUILDER handle mortgages and debts?

PlanBUILDER amortizes all mortgages and debts. It also knows the difference between deductible and nondeductible interest.


Do I have to create a comprehensive plan every time?

With PlanBUILDER, you decide how much of the program to use each time you use it. The powerful report generator, powered by Crystal Reports, makes it easy for you to create “standard reports” for similar clients. The program comes with more than 15 defined sets to get you started. You can edit those or easily create your own.


Does PlanBUILDER include Monte Carlo simulation?

Yes, our MCs is powered by Crystal Ball, the premier risk assessment tool for Fortune 500 companies and leading Business Schools in the country. The Scenario Manager answers the two questions clients have and those are “Will I run out of money before I run out of breath?” And “Will I have enough income to meet my retirement objective?”


Please email Plan Builder for more information.


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