by Mark Snodgrass on June 18, 2018

Silver Online - Helping Clients Use the What-If? Screen

Advisors using Silver Online may choose to allow clients access to the What-If? system within the client portal. This powerful tool allows clients to make certain changes to their planning assumptions and quickly see the effects on their retirement capital projection.

Though this tool offers a number of benefits to clients, there may be a risk clients could become overly concerned or optimistic about the health of their plan. The president of Money Tree Software, Mark Snodgrass provides some insights on helping clients use the What-If? section to its fullest potential:

Helping Clients Use the What-if? Screen

By Mark Snodgrass


When discussing Silver Online’s Monte Carlo simulation graphs and reports with clients, you might also mention how they could use the What-If? screen in the client portal to test out and explore different assumptions and change potential spending levels, retirement ages, returns, inflation and longevity. Before you send them their personal link to the Client Access Portal, you may want to offer some insight and cautions to help them from becoming too optimistic or too concerned about results they’re seeing.

Multiple Conservative Assumptions Have Multiplicative Impact on Monte Carlo Probability Outcome

As clients use the Client Access Portal What-If? screen, it may seem reasonable to make several assumptions at the same time that are all more conservative than the historical averages you have explained to them, and may be using as planning input starting points. When doing this, they may be dismayed to see Monte Carlo results drop dramatically, and it may put them into a tailspin in terms of their ability to successfully retire in the timeframe they had hoped for or had considered quite feasible.


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Mark Snodgrass

Mark Snodgrass, President of Money Tree Software, has been working with advisors to develop professional financial planning models and reports for over twenty-five years. Please address correspondence or questions regarding this article to or to Mark Snodgrass, Money Tree Software, 2430 NW Professional Dr., Corvallis, OR 97330