Every good financial planner I know uses a broad range of tools planning tools and platforms to aid in rendering high-quality financial advice to clients. In my financial planning practice, we used at least nine different software platforms -- some integrated, some not -- to develop a comprehensive analysis and plan. These included financial ratio analyzers, off-the-shelf and custom financial projection models, tax planning and charitable giving software, investment brokerage and trading platforms, asset due diligence and mean-variance-optimization-asset allocation analyzers, and more.
While the breadth of tools and their capabilities can be overwhelming, it's helpful to start with even basic online calculators. Studies show that few people take advantage of this resource. For example, when I was at The American College, our research on business owners revealed that fewer than one in six (15%) of business owners had used an online calculator to get a rough idea of how much they might need for retirement. [This, despite our respondent mean age of 52 and 79% citing concern about retirement planning!]
I believe in making good tools and resources -- from the basic to more sophisticated more readily available and used. In that spirit, what this website, our blog and our coming new products to help you in building your financial readiness. In the meantime, check out 10 of our favorite calculators below:
Simple Loan Calculator
Enter your desired payment - and let us calculate your loan amount. Or, enter in the loan amount and we will calculate your monthly payment. You can then examine your principal balances by payment, total of all payments made, and total interest paid. Press the report button to see a monthly payment schedule.
Investment Goal Calculator
What will it take to reach your investment goal? Use this investment goal calculator to determine how much your investment might grow before taxes, after taxes and after taxes and inflation. It will also provide suggestions on what to change if your plan doesn't look like it will meet your investment goal.
Risk Tolerance and Investment Mix Questionnaire
Many experts believe that long-term investment success is more a function of how assets are allocated among asset classes rather than the individual securities in which they are invested. This asset allocation tool will help you to identify a potential mix of cash equivalent, fixed income and equities that corresponds to your risk tolerance and investment experience. These sample mixes are only examples and are not specific recommendations.
Comprehensive Life Insurance Analysis
How much life insurance do you need? This comprehensive life insurance calculator includes detailed net worth analysis, budgeting and college savings to help you decide how much life insurance you might need. You can also adjust the inflation rate and your expected rate of return to see how these variables can impact your insurance needs.
Disability Insurance Analysis
One of the most common causes of income loss is through a disability. While most disabilities cause only temporary loss of income, any income loss can be devastating if you are not financially prepared. This calculator helps you determine how much disability insurance you may need to cover expenses during such a disability.
Long-Term Care Required Savings
Long-term care, which includes expenses for nursing homes and other services such as extended in-home care, is an expense that is difficult to afford without long-term planning. The cost of a room in a semi-private nursing home can be more than $70,000 per year, depending on your location. Use this calculator to estimate the cost of long-term care and see what it would take to attempt to save for this expense.
Business Valuation Calculator
Business valuation is typically based on three major methods: the income approach, the asset approach and the market (comparable sales) approach. Among the income approaches is the discounted cash flow methodology calculating the net present value ('NPV') of future cash flows for an enterprise. As an alternative to the more abbreviated income capitalization approach, this methodology is more relevant where future operating conditions and cash flows are variable or not projected to be materially consistent with current performance levels.