Choosing the Right Financial Planning Software for Your Practice: RightCapital vs. eMoney

6 min read
July 08, 2024

As the world of financial advice continues to evolve from being mostly investment product-driven to delivering a one-time financial plan as a basis for investment recommendations and, more recently, toward ongoing, comprehensive financial planning advice, the tools advisors use to analyze client situations and generate insightful advice have also evolved.

The rise of new tools, such as the Elements Financial Vitals System and AssetMap, aims to move from complex, comprehensive projections to more digestible summaries that facilitate great client conversations. Still, many advisors and their clients find value in modeling a client's financial situation in great detail, projecting it far into the future, and testing different scenarios to predict the impact of a client's financial decisions. For these situations where rules of thumb and back-of-the-napkin advice won't suffice, more comprehensive and detailed projections are still preferred, and traditional financial planning software is often the advisor's most effective tool.

So, which planning software should you use? At XYPN, our members have free or subsidized access to RightCapital but can also use eMoney or MoneyGuide planning software at steep discounts. With these choices, we've seen most of our members (about 78%) adopt RightCapital as their planning tool, with another 16% using eMoney and about 4% choosing to use MoneyGuide. This shows a strong preference for cashflow-based planning tools among the network, which are the primary projection modalities of both eMoney and RightCapital, as opposed to the goals-based methodology employed by MoneyGuide.

Assuming you're also a fan of cashflow-based planning, how should you think about comparing RightCapital vs eMoney for your practice? Which financial planning software best meets your needs and resonates with your clients? Let's take a look!

Comparing RightCapital vs. eMoney

When evaluating RightCapital vs. eMoney for financial planning software, some important areas you might want to consider include:

  1. Past Experience:
    • Sometimes, the tool you know is better than the one you don't. There are familiarity and comfort advantages to using a tool to analyze and present a tool you already know and like, especially with new clients whose trust in you and your advice might partially come from your apparent trust in your projections. Still, we're not fans of the "momentum choice" in this category unless you're simply so dialed in and busy running your ideal firm; the benefit of retooling your process doesn't seem to offer much to offer.
  2. User Experience and Efficiency:
    • According to the Kitces Report (Volume 1, 2023), advisors spend a median of 5 hours building a financial plan on RightCapital and eMoney. However, most advisors generally consider RightCapital to be more user-friendly. Its intuitive data entry approach may shorten your learning curve and help you avoid missing important details that can impact client projections.
  3. Presentation Modalities:
    • Both platforms offer a variety of presentation formats, including cash flow tables and net worth charts. eMoney's interactive planning tools, like the Decision Center, can be useful for demonstrating the impacts and tradeoffs of various financial decisions and events in real-time. They allow the advisor to toggle assumptions on and off and show the impact on the client's net worth over time.
    • RightCapital also offers diverse interactive and customizable presentation options such as the Sankey-style Cash Flow Map, plan overview Snapshot, and visual-summary Blueprints for net worth, goals, and cashflows. These lean more into client-friendly, digestible presentations over detailed, data-heavy discussions.
    • There's no right or wrong here, but we prefer RightCapital's visuals and presentation options, which simplify complex situations and better encourage behavior change for many clients. If you're considering using your planning tool to provide a plan deliverable to your clients, you should take the time to familiarize yourself with the options available on each platform to see which might best fit your style.
  4. Client Engagement and Onboarding:
    • Both platforms feature intuitive client portals for self-directed client onboarding, monitoring, and task management. Both portals also offer highly secure document management vaults for sharing documents. Clients can provide financial data like income and expenses and link their accounts for daily-updated values, net worth tracking over time, and transaction information to manage their budget within each tool's budgeting module.
    • RightCapital's mobile app is a nice additional feature, supporting client engagement by allowing clients to opt in to push notifications when tasks are assigned to them. While eMoney's client portal is mobile-friendly and includes task management, the need to log into a web-based app may create a behavioral hurdle for clients trying to engage with their plan and the planning software. 
  5. Analytical Capabilities:
    • eMoney is generally considered to have the most detailed cashflow engine, allowing the expert user to model complex cashflow situations with a high degree of detail. New users to the platform might initially find the Advanced Planning section's data entry somewhat daunting. However, eMoney tends to be favored by firms serving higher net worth clients with more complex cashflows and estate plans, partly because of the very granular cashflow modeling and advisor-analysis options. 
    • RightCapital also offers a robust cashflow engine and tends to outshine eMoney in specialized areas like student loan analysis and tax planning. While highly complex plans may not be easy to model to quite the same degree of specificity, the vast majority of cases can be accurately presented in RightCapital.
  6. Customer Support:
    • Both platforms are highly regarded for their quality customer support and both offer phone, chat, and email support options. RightCapitals support team is available from 6:00 AM - 6:00 PM EST, whereas eMoney's support can be reached between 6:00 AM - 8:00 PM EST. Despite slightly more restrictive support hours, RightCapital was given an exceptional customer support rating of 9.0 compared to eMoney's still-impressive 8.3 in the Kitces Report (Volume 1, 2023).
  7. Integrations and API Access:
    • Evaluating the integrations your planning software will support within the context of the rest of your technology stack is critical. Ezra Group gives RightCapital an integration score of 6.3 compared to eMoney's 7.8, indicating RightCapital has some ground to make up for integrating with more of the tools advisors use. Still, what matters most is whether the planning tool integrates with your other technology and how feature-rich those integrations are. View each company's list of integrations and the descriptions of each to get a better idea of which plugs into your stack most seamlessly.
    • eMoney offers robust Access APIs for developing custom client portals and advisor dashboards, although at a steep entry cost of $2,000/month (last we checked). RightCapital has not yet monetized or made API information publicly available, to our knowledge.
  8. Cost:
    • Cost can be a major consideration for advisors just launching their firms with finite resources.
    • eMoney doesn't publish its pricing, but expect to pay $2,600/year for their entry-level Plus tier, more than $4,100 for their Pro tier (most popular among XYPN members), and at least $5,000/year for Premier.
    • RightCapital offers more transparent and affordable retail pricing: $1,679.40/year for the Basic tier and $2,159.40 for the Premium tier (which most XYPN members use). Their Platinum tier pricing requires a call with their team.
  • Contracts:
    • It's important to remember contract commitments. eMoney generally works on annual contracts only, while RightCapital requires an annual commitment for the first year only.

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So How to Choose?

Picking your firm's "best" planning software warrants a fair amount of consideration. Comparing overall satisfaction scores from various surveys and studies like the Kitces Report and T3/Inside Information Advisor Software Survey it is helpful but far from the end of your search.

Your client's preferences, client complexity, existing tech stack, presentation style, and budget are all important factors. Take the time to demo both and run the same case through both platforms, then get with customer support to talk about how best to present the story you want to tell with your client. Consider using a client case you have already analyzed in depth and know well, if possible. Ask advisors using each platform to show you how they use each in their practice and what they love and don't love so much.

Switching planning software can be fairly time-consuming, involving existing client data migration, integration setup, workflow revision, inviting clients to participate in the switch, and getting your team comfortable in the new platform. It's not a bad idea to review all available options for any tech in your firm every 3-5 years, but the cost of switching planning software can quickly outweigh the benefits for more advanced and complex firms, so try to be thorough in your review.

Once you’ve made your choice, don’t forget that the value you provide to clients goes far beyond the charts and graphs. Commit and move on. Your clients likely aren't as concerned with which platform you're using as they are with how available, attentive, and knowledgeable you are. As the saying goes, "The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing." Happy planning!

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David Bowman, CFP®, CCFC Headshot

About the Author

Dave Bowman, CFP®, CCFC is Director of Partnerships at XYPN where he helps to curate the technology choices and best practices for our 1,800+ members. He started his career at a large fee-only RIA in 2013, and has since formed multiple companies supporting financial planners including Outsourced Planning and the college planning software College Aid Pro.

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