Garrett Offers New Tool for Middle-Income Clients

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The fee-only planners in Garrett Planning Network just got a new tool for working with middle-class clients.

Guide Financial, a web-based provider of cash flow and account monitoring software, says a new deal will make its services available to the more than 300 Garrett advisory firms. The deal creates a private-label portal designed to be used collaboratively by clients and Garrett’s national network of hourly-fee advisors.

Guide did not disclose the pricing of the Garrett deal, although a Guide spokeswoman says that early adopters will be able to lock in discounted rates.

One of Guide's advisors is Esther Stearns, former head of Nestwise -- a now-shuttered LPL venture aimed at middle-class clients. Stearns told Financial Planning recently that Guide's offering “is a tool very much in the tradition of the technology that we had at NestWise.”

Guide says its software will integrate with major custodial platforms and broker-dealers, and use data provided through a partnership with Intuit to safeguard access to accounts at 19,000 financial institutions across North America. The platform will also offer access to real-time data that monitors progress toward a goal, according to Guide.

“Guide offers an opportunity for advisors to expand the market for their services, targeting middle-class households and members of Gen Y for example,” Uri Pomerantz, co-founder and CEO of Guide Financial, said in a press release announcing the deal. “While not all of these individuals and families will grow to become large clients, some will, and Guide will have helped position advisors to get in early on that potential for growth.”

The Guide press release estimated that there are 20 million households with assets between $100,000 and $1 million that are underserved by current financial planning models.

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