MoneyTree recently debuted a new version of its Total Planning Suite. It's not loaded with new features, but what's under the hood is a significant upgrade.
Money Tree remains a popular maker of financial planning software.
In recent years, the company has received far less press than MoneyGuide Pro or EISI's NaviPlan solutions, but its solutions remain popular.
Donnie Carpenter, a CFP licensee, and company spokesman, says Total Planning Suite about about 5,000 users. Money Tree Silver, the other popular program made by the company, has about 5000 users--evenly split between the online and desktop versions.
Total Planning Suite version 5.0 is major upgrade, but not because it's packed with new features. The interface has been reworked and users will notice a difference in the useability and speed.
However, the big changes are not visible. It's in the code. Total Planning Suite represents a huge rewrite of the program.
Carpenter says that Money Tree's previous version was outdated. Instead of continuing to build on the old code, the company started from scratch.
Features in the software that took up 2000 lines of code were rewritten in just 200 lines, he says. That means the program will run faster. Moreover, the new code base is a much more stable platform on which to build.
When Money Tree wants to add a web-based version of Total Planning Suite, it will take far less time and adding features in the future will also be easier. That's crucial for a financial planning app because these apps need to be able to respond quickly when new tax laws are passed.
Total Planning suite combines two apps--Golden Years and Easy Money. Golden Years is a cash-flow based planning tool, while Easy Money is goal based.
Silver Financial Planner is a quick-plan application that requires much less data input. A new version of Silver is in the works that will put Silver and Total Planning Suite on the same programming language.
I'm glad that Money Tree has revamped Total Planning Suite. While it has not been the sexiest app or the most innovative, many advisors love Money Tree because its products are simple and easy to use. Golden Years in particular is popular because it is much simpler than other cash-flow based planning apps, and some of the best planners I know rave about it--despite its outdated interface. Now that the interface is updated, Total Planning Suite could become more popular.
The reviews section of A4A has only a few reviews of Golden Years and Easy Money. So if you are a user, let me know if I am calling this one correctly. And if you upgrade to version 5, please review it and let us know what you think.