Financial planning software has yet to win over the bulk of advisors, with many of them feeling today's products are "just OK," according to a new study.
   Despite the availability of 57 financial planning products, the study by Tiburon Strategic Advisors found that advisors are generally unimpressed with the quality of the software.
   "Financial advisors do not report being enamored with financial planning software; almost all think it is just OK or bad," the authors of the study said.
   More specifically, the study found 64% of respondents reported thinking their financial planning software was just OK, 24% reported being unhappy and 3% reported being very unhappy. Only 9% of respondents reported being very happy with their financial planning software.
   Those were the feelings of advisors who use software. One of the issues software developers must contend with, according to the study, is that many advisors still don't use financial planning software.
   The study cited the example of an executive at a leading broker/dealer who reported only 40% of the company's advisors used financial planning software. The percentage was "reduced substantially" when referring only to advisors who use the software for the majority of their clients.
   "Financial planning software still has a long way to go in advisor usage; at leading broker-dealers, usage is still well below half of advisors," the study's authors wrote.
   The study found that the leaders in the financial planning software market are EISI's NaviPlan, with 70,000 users; Financial Profiles, with 50,000 users; Financeware with 28,200 users, and Money Guide Pro with 17,000 users.
   Among fee-only advisors, Morningstar and Quicken offer the most popular financial planning software products, according to the study.
   The market leaders each have their individual strengths, according to the study. NaviPlan, for example, is known for providing a comprehensive and integrated linear design, with a heavy slant toward insurance usage, for enterprise clients. Financial Profiles has a reputation as a stable and mature product, with the ability to handle complex trusts and quality sales and marketing support. Financeware is known for its retirement portfolio analysis tools, and was one of the first products to provide Monte Carlo simulations in ASP format.