Need to Know
- BMO clients will now have online access to their financial plan after it has been developed with a financial advisor.
- With WealthPath, plans will now be interactive and flexible; clients can test for different scenarios to see how it affects their finances.
- BMO’s new, adaptable planner is in response to clients’ need for greater flexibility and oversight due to the pandemic.
BMO is expanding its digital financial planning tool, WealthPath, adding new adaptability features that are reflective of clients’ need for flexibility during the COVID-19 pandemic.
WealthPath, which was launched in 2018, gives BMO customers visibility over a financial plan that they have developed in-person with a BMO adviser. Previously, these plans were relatively static; now, clients can see how their finances would adjust over time based on various factors, including personal changes or adjustments in money-management strategies. Clients can now test for these different scenarios from home, directly within the WealthPath platform.
“The wealth planning process has always been a highly personalized process that benefits from having a trusted advisory relationship, collaboration and professional guidance. Given the pandemic’s impact on every facet of our lives, it’s more important than ever before to have a wealth plan that can adapt to changes,” Caroline Dabu, head of wealth planning for BMO said in a statement announcing the new WealthPath function. “By empowering our clients with a visual, comprehensive wealth plan, we make it possible for them to see how changes can affect their plans and they will be equipped to make more informed and confident choices ahead.”
Using the new WealthPath tools, clients can make changes to their existing plan, after it has been built with a BMO financial adviser, at any time. Modified plans are not deleted; rather, changes are projected over a client’s original plan. In order to make changes, or see theoretical adjustments according to potential personal or financial scenarios, clients can experiment with their plan within WealthPath using a “what-if” tab, and if a scenario accurately mirrors what a client wants to plan for in real life, they can save those changes to the WealthPath platform themselves, without the need to consult a BMO rep.
BMO’s announcement of a more flexible online financial-planning tool comes just weeks after Scotiabank launched Advice+, a self-serve digital financial-planning hub. Advice+ provides both a comprehensive self-help hub, in which clients can access information regarding financial planning, investing, and budgeting, and the option to book an appointment with a Scotiabank advisor for more tailored advice.
BMO has been working throughout the pandemic to improve its digital offerings, as online banking became more important to clients who are limiting their in-person transactions and interactions, though these adjustments have thus far largely targeted BMO’s small-business clients. In August, the bank announced a partnership with Intuit that would allow small-business customers to share data with third-party financial tools, such as Intuit’s QuickBooks, more securely. And last month, BMO announced it would be introducing bulk e-transfers for business clients, giving businesses more control and security while creating efficiencies.