Janus Capital Group has unveiled a new online retirement income distribution tool aimed at helping financial advisors keeping their clients’ retirement income evenly flowing for more than 30 years.
The new online tool, called the Janus Time Segmentation Framework, comes as Janus takes a planning approach where many other firms have been using a product approach, Matthew Sommer, director and senior retirement specialist of Janus’s Retirement Strategy Group said in an interview at On Wall Street’s offices on Tuesday.
For financial advisors, that means offering them a new plan over a product like an annuity to use to talk to their clients about their retirement time horizon.
“It’s my view that advisors don’t want to learn another product,” Sommer said.
When a financial advisor enters a client’s asset and spending requirements, Janus’s tool comes up with a tailored plan divided into segments that account for four phases of retirement. Each successive phase is aimed at increasing investment risk, and will ultimately replace the investments made in previous phases as time goes by. The plan targets clients with investable assets that can range from $500,000 to $5 million.
The first phase, which accounts for the first five years of retirement, is called the cash equivalent, and can include cash, social security, pensions and annuities. During that phase, all distributions are made. It is designed to be the safest phase, according to Sommer, as early losses are often the most difficult to recover.
In the second phase, or years six through 10 of retirement, risk is increased slightly to focus on conservative investments such as world bonds, high yield, multi-sector, intermediate muni and intermediate bond investments.
The third phase, accounting for years 11 through 20, moves to moderate risk investments that could include large cap and mid cap growth value blends, world allocation, long-short and market neutral investments.
The fourth, most aggressive phase, from years 21 to 30 and beyond, moves to growth-oriented investments, such as small cap, foreign large cap and foreign mid cap growth value blends and commodities.
The plan calls for the client to meet with the financial advisor each year to reallocate their portfolio to match their needs and market conditions.
“We harvest the good years and in bad years we leave it alone,” said Sommer, who joined Janus in May 2010. Before that, Sommer served for 17 years at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, most recently as an executive director of thought leadership and professional development.
Janus’s new feature is in the early stages of passing the compliance systems of wealth management firms, including wirehouses. The plan has been cleared by Ameriprise’s compliance department, and is now set for further evaluation at that firm.
Janus’s business model does not call for a collection of fees from the plan’s users. Instead, it plans to use the feature to drive traffic to its site and build new relationships with advisors outside of its firm.
In six months, Janus plans to evaluate the new plan and its adoption, Sommer said, with plans to roll out a second version in 2012. That could include new features to calculate a client’s plan based on age and other assumptions, which is currently accounted for by the financial advisor.
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