About Preferences - A master list of the software's default assumptions and settings

Preferences are the underlying default assumptions used by the software when calculating client cases. In Voyant we code for what we know -- i.e. what the government has announced or legislated -- and when moving beyond the known, we give you, the adviser or paraplanner, tools to set whatever you deem to be reasonable assumptions about future projections. 
 
Note that the assumptions which come packaged with Voyant (with the exception of the Market Assumptions) are just placeholders and are not updated by us, other than changes that relate to legislation. We recommend that you review and set these defaults as a firm, prior to use.
 
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Preferences also give you considerable control over much of the software's functionality. For example, do you like the software's sounds or would you rather work in peace? Sounds can be switched on or off in the software's Application Preferences. Untick this checkbox and the charts will no longer chime during the big reveal.
 
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View and edit preferences in Voyant Adviser

The software's preferences can be viewed and edited, if needed, by opening and client case and clicking the Preferences button, which is the cog top left.

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On this screen are the System Preferences and Plan Preferences, which with one exception, the Application Preferences, mirror one another. How these two sets of preferences are used is explained following the inventory of preferences below.

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Master list of Preferences in Voyant Adviser
In this list are links to topics that should provide full information on how each preference, setting, or option is used in the software. The preferences inventoried below are used in all versions of Voyant unless otherwise noted - e.g. (UK).
 
 

Default Ages

 
Retirement Age – This setting is not displayed in the software’s Preferences but can be used when rebranding the software (as part of our optional rebranding/white label service) to set the software’s default retirement ages for clients who are not already retired.
 
Once a plan is created, you can easily adjust the retirement ages of your clients by moving (dragging and dropping) their Retirement events manually on the software’s timeline. The timeline is found on the Time screen and events can also be edited on the Let’s See charts by first clicking the Edit Time button.
 
 
 
Default Inflation / Growth Rates
 

NAE - National Average Earnings % (UK) - Income escalation for earnings, other incomes (i.e. rental income) and in the UK, state pension benefits (as part of the Triple Lock formula).
 
Social Security COLA % (US) - Cost of Living Increase (COLA) on Social Security benefits.
 
CPP / QPP COLA - (Canada) Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) on benefits from the Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) and Quebec Pension Plan (QPP).
 
CPI % - Consumer Prices Index. For the UK software, the future Lifetime Allowance (LTA) is escalated based on CPI. 
 
RPI % - Retail Price Index
 
Pension COLA % (US) - Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) on pensions.
 
 
Default Tax Table Assumption % - Escalating future tax related assumptions.
 
Nil Rate Band Escalation % (UK) - Future escalation of the inheritance tax (IHT) threshold.
 
Main Residence Threshold Escalation % (UK) - Future escalation of the inheritance tax (IHT) threshold on main residences.
 
CAT Threshold Escalation Rate % (Ireland)
 
 
 
Asset Allocation
 
Specify a default asset allocation for accounts that are set to be grown using an asset-allocated portfolio (i.e. an asset allocation) as opposed to a fixed growth rate. The annual return on an asset allocation is based on the asset classes that comprise it and their underlying market assumptions.
 
Asset Allocation - The software's default asset allocation.
 
Edit

Optimise

Risk score
 
 
  
Market Assumptions
 
Set the underlying assumptions about the (long-term) returns of the various asset classes for accounts grown using asset allocations as opposed to fixed growth rates.
 
Market Assumptions - The software's default market assumptions.
 
Above assumptions include yield
 
Above assumptions are arithmetic, geometric, other
 
Approximate geometric mean for default calculation
 
Yield data
 
Risk score
 
Description of assumptions – Information on the source of the market assumptions, if available from the provider.
 
Create - Install an entirely new set of market assumptions (bespoke assumptions) by loading market assumption files into the software.
 
Select - Choose an alternative set of market assumptions (if available) from the software's market assumptions library.
 
 
 
Taxation
 
Federal Taxes - Income Rate, Capital Gains Rate (US)
 
State Taxes - Income Rate, Capital Gains Rate (US)
 
Estate Tax Details - Carry over exemption to spouse (US)
 
Estate Tax Details - Community property rules apply (US)
 
 
Liquidation taxes as regular income % (US) - Amount liquidated annually taxed as regular income.
 
Liquidation taxes as capital gains % (US) - Amount liquidated annually taxed as capital gains.
 
Onshore Bond Default Internal Tax Rate % (UK) - Used for onshore life funds.
 
 
 
Major Loss Event Defaults
 
Specify default settings for the Major Loss modelling event and Loss Capacity simulation.
 
 
 
Fees
 
Set default account fees based on asset type.
 
 
 
Liquidation Order
 
Set a default order for asset liquidation based on asset type.
 
 
 
Savings Order
 
Set which types of accounts receive priority when multiple contributions are set to occur in a given years.
 
 
 
Risk Profile Settings
 
 
 

Calculation Settings
 
 
 
 
Allow qualified withdrawals before age 60 (US)
 
 
 
 
 
Apply CPP/QPP Split (Canada)
 
 

Application Preferences
 
Play sounds - Switch those charming/annoying sounds on or off.
 
Set text size - Adjust the size of text and other items onscreen in Voyant Adviser.
 
Enable offline mode, offline passcode - Allow Voyant Adviser to be used offline and set or edit your password (i.e. passcode) for offline access.
 
Reports base directory - Set or change the directory that stores Voyant reports.
 
Start screen - Specify whether Voyant Adviser will display the Let's See cash flow chart, timeline, or general overview when a client case is first open.
 
Use fixed market slider - Specify how the Performance slider (a simulation tool ) will calculate ups and downs in investment performance.
 
Automatically expand advanced settings - Display preference used primarily for Voyant Adviser's data entry. screens.
 
Edit Advanced Details in pop-out dialogs - Display preference used primarily for Voyant Adviser's data entry. screens.
 
Open backup folder, disable auto backup - Access automated backups of your client records.
 
 
 

View preferences and settings in AdviserGo

A subset of the software's preferences can be viewed (but not edited) in AdviserGo and VoyantGo. To view them, first open a plan in Go. Click the menu icon, top-right. Select Preferences. 

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A list of non-editable preferences will be shown. Most of these can be edited at the item level within AdviserGo and can be edited when the plan is opened in Voyant Adviser, provided that the preference has not one that has been locked by the enterprise via a rebrand. 

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Software settings, such as Languages, can be changed by the user. 

Contextual Clues is a setting used to switch on the contextual help system, if one is available. Contextual help can be edited and controlled by enterprises that use Voyant's rebranding service.  

Manage Content, shown in the screenshot below, is a conditional setting available only to users who have been granted a special role making them content editors. Content editors can add and publish contextual help. 

 
 
 
More about Preferences
 
Plan Preferences vs. System Preferences - What's the difference?
 
In Voyant the term plans = scenarios (including the base plan). A client file contains one or more plans, always beginning with a base plan. 

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On the Preferences screen, the Plan Preferences -- the list of panels to the right side of the screen -- are applied to the individual plans within the client case you are presently viewing.  If you want to change a preference in the plan you are viewing, you would make this change in the panels in Plan Preferences, to the right side of the screen, and click Apply, bottom-right. 

Preferences can even be tweaked on a per scenario (what-if plan) basis within a client case. For example, one could have a base plan with a default Inflation Rate of 2.5% and then create a scenario in which inflation is set (in Plan Preferences) to 3% and compare the two.

Like other items in the plan, child scenarios inherit preferences form the Base Plan unless they are changed specially in that scenario.

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The System Preferences, to the left side of the screen, are used primarily as your template for new clients going forward. Whenever you create a new client case, a copy of the System Preferences to the left will be used as that client's Plan Preferences, at initially, until you make any changes to them.

Note: Nothing that you change or edit in the System Preferences will ever retroactively affect all of the client cases you have created to date. To update the preferences existing plans, you would need to open and edit each client case individually to make the appropriate changes in each client's Plan Preferences.

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System Preferences are usually saved only locally for your user account, on the computer you use to access the software. If you install Voyant on another computer, you will probably need to set the System Preferences on that computer, if you've been customising them. There is an exception to this rule. Firms that subscribe to the Voyant rebranding (white labelling) service do have the option to add the firm's preferred set of system preferences included in their semi-bespoke version of Voyant Adviser. This service allows for updates to assumptions to be easily distributed to all of the advisers and paraplanners within the firm. 

Plan Preferences are plan specific. Unlike System Preferences, they are integral to the client case and will follow the client case wherever it goes. So if a colleague opens your client case for John Smith, she or he will see the case bearing the set of preferences that you selected for it. 

 

Overriding Plan Preferences - Editing assumptions at the item level within a plan
 
The default growth rates and other assumptions, found on the Preferences screen (in the Plan Preferences) will be used as the initial default values when creating client cases. However, most these defaults can be overridden, when necessary, by making edits at the item level.

For example, the default Inflation Rate for all expenses in the plan could be set to 2.5% in the Plan Preferences. This means whenever I go to add a new expense to the plan, that expense will be set to inflate in the future at a rate of 2.5% per annum.
 
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However, perhaps there is a particular expense, education or health care costs for example, that should inflate more rapidly. Exceptions to the default can be made by simply editing the Inflation Rate for that expense individually.
 
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Any edits made at the item level will override the initial defaults from Plan Preferences. Moreover, once edited at the item level, these settings will remain as edited for the item, regardless of any later changes made in Preferences.
 
 
How to revert an a setting edited at the item level back to the Plan Preference

Should you ever need to revert a setting edited at the item level back to the plan default, simply clear the value -- e.g. delete the Inflation rate from the Expense screen's Inflation panel, leaving the field blank (null). Do not enter a 0. Click OK and then Update. The item will once again use the default value taken from Plan Preferences. 
 
Note: If you clear a value when working in a scenario, not the Base Plan, the field will be reset to its value from the Base Plan, at least on first pass.
 
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Managing Preferences in your firm's rebrand/white label of Voyant Adviser / AdviserGo

Firms may update the System Preferences used by their advisers and paraplanners, if they wish, provided they use our rebranding (white labeling) service

System preferences can even be locked down in a rebrand. Also, when a user opens a case file, the client case specific Plan Preferences will be checked against the firm's latest master set of System Preferences. If the Plan Preferences deviate from the firm's master System Preferences, users will be alerted and will be asked whether they want to update the existing preferences in the current client case.

 

Preferences can be locked for firms using the rebranding service

A firm with a locked set of preferences, defined through their rebrand of Voyant, can ask us to update their preferences set.

1. The adviser will update their software either by visiting our website, signing in and clicking Plan Now or by waiting until our next formal release.

2. When they open an existing client case, the latest System Preferences, defined by the firm, will be checked against the Plan Preferences in the client case.

3. If a discrepancy is found, the adviser will be alerted and if they click Yes, the plan preferences  in the client case will be updated to match the firm's latest set of system preferences. 

4. Any new client cases created, going forward, will simply use the latest set of System Preferences as defined by the firm through their rebrand of Voyant. 

 

Outputting Plan Preferences in printable reports

Information about the software's Plan Preferences can also be output in printable reports in PDF, Word and in most cases also Excel file formats.

Reports are found on the software's Reports & Notes screen. To generate a report, drag the sections you want to output form the left field to right, arrange them in any order, select the file formats you want the reports written in and click Generate lower-right.

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The main report that relates to preferences is the Default Assumptions report. This report contain most of the client-facing values from the Plan Preferences that would be meaningful to your client. It is not intended to include all of the software's preferences. Rather, the report only features preferences that have an obvious bearing on your client's plan.

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Other reports that include preference-related information are:

- Plan Overview, which includes the inflation rate on expenses and the growth rates on savings, investments, and pensions;

- Account Details, which includes the annual growth rate and in some cases the asset allocation for each savings, investment and pension account in the plan;

- Pension Details (UK), alludes to the escalation of the future lifetime allowance, which is shown in the report with each benefit crystallisation event;

- Taxes Detailed, shows the annual escalation of income tax brackets, if applicable, which is set in Plan Preferences.

The Adviser Fact Check report provides an output of all of the details of every item in the plan, but in a more technical format. Advisers and paraplanners are its intended audience, not clients.

 

Related topics

System Preferences vs. Plan Preferences

Copy to All Plans - Will this button copy preferences to all of my client cases?

 

Related Documents

Guide to Voyant Rebranding (White Labelling)

Customised System Preferences (sample file) - UK and Ireland

Customised System Preferences (sample file) - US and Canada

Customised Reports Sets (sample file)