What's New?

We're continually making improvements to Snap Projections and many of the changes originate from customer suggestions. We greatly value hearing your feedback and encourage you to let us know what would make Snap Projections more valuable for you. You can send your comments to [email protected] - we are listening!

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June 2, 2022, Release Notes

Highlights:

  1. Stress Testing Add-on
  2. Randomized Scenarios
  3. Updates to Historical Scenarios - Inflation, Equity RoR and Portfolio Customization
  4. Update to 2022 FP Canada Assumption Guidelines
  5. Wednesday, June 8 - Stress Testing in Snap Webinar
  6. Live product walkthrough and Q & A sessions
1

Stress Testing Add-on

Stress Testing is an add-on that allows you to apply historical or randomly generated rates of inflation and investment returns to the current scenario. This can help you stress test your projections by showing you a range of potential outcomes, demonstrate the sequence of return risk, answer client questions, and more. The add-on allows you to apply historical rates of return or randomly generated rates of return to your projections to demonstrate volatility, a range of potential return outcomes and sequence of return risk.

To watch a 10-minute overview video of this feature in use please click here.

We're also hosting a webinar on Wednesday, June 8 at 1 pm ET to review this feature in more detail. We'll send a recording of the session to everyone who registers, whether you're able to join or not.

The price of this add-on is $9 per month or $96 per year depending on your current payment frequency. Add-ons can be activated and deactivated at any time. Charges are prorated, which means you pay only for the days when they're active.

Stress Testing is the expansion of our existing Historical Scenario add-on. All existing Historical Scenario users will be automatically upgraded to Stress Testing and have access to both the Historical Scenario feature as well as the new Randomized Scenario feature. Your pricing of the Stress Testing add-on will update starting on your first billing date after October 1, 2022. This will provide you time to try out both stress testing options before any pricing changes take effect.

You can enable this add-on by selecting Run Historical Scenario or Run Randomized Scenario from the Planning page, which you can find under the Run Scenario dropdown.

You can also activate or deactivate the add-on from your Billing Settings page. If you don't have access to this page please contact your team's administrator or send us an email at [email protected] and we'll be happy to help.

Activations and deactivations will be effective immediately and prorated based on where you are in the current billing cycle. Debits are charged by the end of the next business day. Credits are applied to the next scheduled payment.

To learn more about this new add-on and the features it includes please watch this 10-minute video or you can review this article.

Note: Stress-tested scenarios (using variable rates) aren't intended to replace your base financial projection. You can learn more about copying your base scenario and running stress-tested scenarios here.

2

Randomized Scenarios

Randomized Scenarios is a new feature in Snap and one of the two ways that you can apply variable rates to your plan through our Stress Testing add-on. It allows you to generate a randomized set of rates by combining your expected rates for each category (i.e., Inflation, Cash, Fixed Income, Equity) with historical volatility (or your preferred market assumptions) to model a range of potential future outcomes.

You can use this feature to perform stress testing through several methods. You could Apply & Run multiple Random Scenario sequences to your plan to see how frequently the clients achieve their goals. You could also choose a poorly performing sequence to see how the plan would perform if rates were both variable and lower than expected. These methods will allow you to illustrate how lower returns or different sequences of returns can impact the outcome of a projection, which is particularly important for retirement planning.
We created Randomized Scenarios to give you the ability to:
  • generate and model sequences of returns with their ups and downs (instead of flat sequences, which are typically used for financial projections).
  • show a range of outcomes anywhere between the worst and best case from a set of 101 randomly generated sequences.
  • get an approximate indication of how likely your clients are to achieve their goals (you can use this feature to perform a basic form of stress testing).
  • illustrate the importance of the order of returns to your clients.

A complete explanation of the Randomized Scenario feature is available here. The article includes assumptions, calculations, use cases and more.

3

Updates to Historical Scenarios - Inflation, Equity RoR and Portfolio Customization

In addition to launching Randomized Scenarios as part of the Stress Testing Add-on, we've also introduced enhancements to the existing Historical Scenarios feature.

The three primary improvements are the inclusion of historical inflation rates in the plan and the ability to customize the portfolio asset allocation that's used in the annual return calculations and in ranking the periods from the worst to the best case in the Historical Scenarios modal.

1. Historical Inflation Rates

Now, when you run a Historical Scenario you'll see a fourth line added to the chart for Inflation. This will help provide better context for scenarios with Nominal investment returns that were significantly higher than the current FP Canada Assumption Guidelines.

The range of scenarios available based on the length of time (e.g., 10 years, 20 years) you've selected will be ranked based on the real portfolio return rather than the nominal rate of return. This will provide a broader set of sample periods that can be used for stress testing purposes.

You'll be able to see the real and nominal returns for the selected period to help you decide whether you want to apply those rates to your projection.

The annual inflation rates will be reflected on the Planning page in a new column called Inflation.

These rates will impact your client's required Nominal spending to better reflect the lifestyle expenses that would have been associated with the higher inflation and nominal return periods.

2. Update to the Equity Rate of Return Calculation

Previously, the Equity rate of return for historical periods was calculated based on an allocation of 1/3 S&P/TSX Composite Index + 1/6 of S&P 500 Index + 1/2 of MSCI EAFE Index. With this updated release we've also added emerging markets and updated the allocations to 1/3 of S&P/TSX Composite Index + 1/6 of S&P 500 Index + 1/6 of MSCI EAFE Index + 1/3 of MSCI Emerging Markets Index. This detail can be found in the Show fine print section of the Historical Scenario modal.

3. Portfolio Asset Allocation Customization

Previously, when you opened the Historical Scenario modal, the return calculations for your selected period were provided based on a default portfolio of 10% Cash, 40% Fixed Income and 50% Equity. This asset allocation was only used for the purposes of interacting with the chart and selecting the desired period to apply to your plan. Then, once you selected a historical period to use, the existing asset allocation for each of the accounts in your projection was used to calculate the plan.

To allow for a more consistent experience, you're now able to customize the portfolio Asset Allocation in the Historical Scenario modal so that the return calculations are more reflective of what will be applied to the projection once the client's individual account asset allocations are used.

For existing Historical Scenario users, please note that the improved Historical Scenarios feature includes historical rates of inflation, updates to the equity return calculations and additional historical data to the start of 2022. If you open one of your existing Historical Scenarios and re-run the scenario, the projections will change because these updates will be applied automatically.
If you want to keep a version of your scenario as it is today, without any of the new updates applied, please make a copy of the scenario first, before making any changes or clicking Run Scenario. In the original version, you can also download the report PDF.

A full article about the Historical Scenarios feature is available here.

4

Update to 2022 FP Canada Assumption Guidelines

The latest (2022) projection assumption guidelines from FP Canada and the Institut québécois de planification financière can now be imported into your projections.

You can do this from the General page in the Scenario Setup section by clicking Use Guidelines.

This will change your Inflation Rates and asset Rate of Return assumptions to the following values.

Fees: Note that the investment management fees paid by clients both for products and advice must be subtracted from these values to obtain the net return. Actual net portfolio returns will depend on the actual product and portfolio management-related fees.

To set these rates as your default for all new projections, please select Defaults and then Save current page settings for new scenarios.

Additional detail about these assumptions is available here: Projection Assumption Guidelines

5

Wednesday, June 8 - Stress Testing in Snap Webinar

We’ve shared how you can best take advantage of these features to answer your client's what-if questions and increase confidence in your recommendations. Click here to view the recording of the webinar to learn more about recent enhancements to the Historical Scenario feature and our new Randomized Scenario capability.

We reviewed:

  • Changes to the existing Historical Scenarios feature.
  • How the new Randomized Scenarios functionality works.
  • How you can use these features to answer client questions, vary your assumptions and stress test your plans.
  • Other recent updates in Snap (e.g., the inclusion of the 2022 FP Canada Assumptions).
6

Live Product Walkthrough and Q & A Sessions

New to Snap Projections? Longer-term user but need a refresher?

Join us for Live Product Walkthrough sessions including the opportunity to ask your own questions. Get an overview of creating a projection, a review of new features, and have your questions answered by one of our resident Customer Success Specialists. These sessions are designed to be more informal than our regular CS Webinars, with less prepared content and more time for questions. This is a new format that we’re trying where you can register for a session and join at any time to ask questions or listen to answers addressing other users’ questions.

You can see the schedule and signup here:

(LIVE SUPPORT SESSIONS) Product Walkthrough and Q & A.

April 18, 2022, Release Notes

Highlights:

  1. Improvements to readability and navigation
  2. Corporate planning enhancements
  3. Indexing of real after-tax spending values
  4. Live product walkthrough and Q & A sessions
1

Improvements to readability and navigation

The Year and Client Age columns on the left-hand side of the Planning page will remain viewable at all times while on the Planning page. This will ensure you can quickly reference what year a value corresponds to.

The scroll bar on the right-hand side of the Planning page is now available at all times, you no longer need to be scrolled to the last column on the right.

Other formatting changes have been made to improve the readability of data on the Planning page.

2

Corporate planning enhancements

You can now input the general rate income pool (GRIP) balance for a corporation in Snap Projections. Snap will track the available GRIP Balance in a corporation and will prevent Eligible Dividends from being paid if there isn't a sufficient GRIP Balance. You can add an existing GRIP Balance from the Scenario Setup -> Corporation page (when setting up a new corporation or when the corporation is highlighted).

You can view the GRIP Balance and other notional account balances (e.g., Capital Dividend, RDTOH) from the Balances table on the corporate Planning page.

Please note: For existing plans with Eligible Dividends in place, your plans will not be impacted. We've updated the starting GRIP Balance to $1,000,000,000 for these plans so that your overrides will remain in place. For all new plans created, the starting GRIP Balance will be assumed to be $0 and your ability to pay Eligible Dividends will be determined by the available GRIP Balance in a given year of the plan.

We've also added a Cost field to allow you to enter an Adjusted Cost Basis for the corporation that will be used when calculating the estate taxes for the corporation.

You can find more about the corporate estate tax calculation here.

3

Indexing of real after-tax spending values

Under Scenario Setup -> Settings -> Advanced, you can now enable a setting to index the real dollar after-tax spending values in your projections.

This can be helpful if you wish to index the After-Tax Spending at a rate greater than inflation or decrease the client's After-Tax Spending by an indexing factor over time.

You can find more details here.

4

Live Product Walkthrough and Q & A Sessions

New to Snap Projections? Longer-term user but need a refresher?

Join us for Live Product Walkthrough sessions including the opportunity to ask your own questions. Get an overview of creating a projection, a review of new features, and have your questions answered by one of our resident Customer Success Specialists. These sessions are designed to be more informal than our regular CS Webinars, with less prepared content and more time for questions. This is a new format that we’re trying where you can register for a session and join at any time to ask questions or listen to answers addressing other users’ questions.

You can see the schedule and signup here:

(LIVE SUPPORT SESSIONS) Product Walkthrough and Q & A.


Highlights of the new design (April 4, 2022)

There have been some exciting and significant changes to the design of Snap Projections. These changes are geared to help make it even easier to use the software, but like any change, it will take a bit of getting used to. We are providing many resources so that you are quickly comfortable when you first log in after the new release. Let's answer a few questions that I'm sure are on your mind:

  1. When is this update happening? The release will take place on April 4, 2022.
  2. Why are you making these changes? While we have continued adding new features regularly, we haven't yet updated the UI from the original design. It is now time to do so in order to achieve several goals:
    1. Make navigation more intuitive. This includes an improved initial plan creation flow that will provide access to all input pages at the outset.
    2. Make the various settings more transparent, discoverable, and available from most pages.
    3. Reduce the number of pages you have to navigate through for any task.
    4. Ensure the software can easily expand for new functionality and settings.
  3. What will the changes look like? We are including the details in this article (below) and including an 11-minute video overview. You can also watch a recording of our webinar where we previewed the new design and offered a Q&A session.
  4. Are we losing any functionality with this update? No, this update will simply change the way you access various settings and the Input, Planning, and Report pages.
  5. What about my existing projections? Will I need to re-enter anything? No, your data within your projections will not be affected by this update. You will not need to re-enter any information for your existing scenarios.
  6. Will we have the option to use the previous design? No, this new version will be applied for every user of Snap Projections going forward from April 4, 2022.
  7. How do I send my comments/questions to Snap Projections? We would love to hear what you think of the new design! Please email us at [email protected] to ask any questions that you have and to let us know how well the new design is working for you.

Resources for you:

  1. Live Q & A support sessions and a recorded webinar
  2. Short Video overview of the new look.
  3. Overview of the changes you should be aware of.
  4. FAQs from the new changes.
1

Live Q & A Support sessions and a recorded webinar

Next Live Session:

Register for the Live Product Walkthrough and Q & A session, Wednesday, April 20, at 1 pm ET


You can also watch our recorded webinar where we went over:
  • The new and improved navigation experience (e.g., accessing input and settings pages, copying and renaming a plan, accessing help resources).
  • Several plan examples to demonstrate how to best take advantage of the changes.
  • Please click here to view the recording. Simply enter your name and email address and the recording will be made available to you immediately.

    2

    Short Video walkthrough of the new look

    If you would like to see the new design in action ahead of its release, you have a few options. Click here to watch an 11-minute video that provides a detailed overview of the changes including a walkthrough of creating a new client projection, or click here to watch a shorter 4-minute video that provides the quick highlights.

    3

    Overview of the changes you should be aware of.

    1. Navigation levels
    2. Running a Scenario
    3. New method to copy, switch or delete scenarios
    4. Report creation and viewing changes
    5. Help menu additions
    6. Personal Settings access: Logout, Billing information, etc.
    7. Autosave enabled throughout most of the software
    a

    Level 1: Plan Details

    We've moved much of the plan details and settings to the top navigation bar.
    From this navigation level you can:
  • Return to your full client list by selecting Clients.
  • Change the scenario (if there are multiple scenarios) by clicking the client's name.
  • Rename the scenario by clicking the current title.
  • Select the page icon to enter advisor notes.
  • Select the menu icon (the three horizontal lines) to rename, copy, switch or delete a scenario.
  • Level 2: Plan Mode

    The second navigation level allows you to select which mode you'd like to be in for your selected plan.
    There are three options:
  • Scenario Setup - This is the initial plan creation flow that allows you to input all values and settings for your plan. This is where you'll input or edit Income, Assets, Debt, Government Benefits, Settings and more. This section used to be across the top of the Planning Page. We've now made it accessible from any page of the software and allowed you to switch between pages without having to return to the Planning Page.
  • Planning Pages - This is where you'll review and refine the plan that's been created based on the inputs in the Scenario Setup pages. You can set the client's After-Tax Spending, enter Contributions to Capital Assets and adjust the plan to best reflect the client's situation.
  • Client Report - This is where you'll select the desired pages to include in the client's report, add commentary and generate the PDF that you can save and or share with your client.
  • Level 3: Selected Person/Entity

    The third and final navigation level allows you to select the person or entity (e.g., your client, their spouse, their corporation) that you want to work on in the Scenario Setup or Planning Pages.

    When you're in the Client Report mode, this third-level navigation allows you to select between Report Settings, Report Editor and Report Preview.

    b

    Running a Scenario

    The location for the Run Scenario button has changed. You will now find it at the top right of the Planning Page. The functionality of the button remains the same. If it's red, that means you've made changes to the plan that haven't yet been run through the calculations. When you click a red Run Scenario button your plan will update and Run Scenario will turn green.

    c

    New method to copy, switch or delete scenarios

    These options are no longer under the Run Scenario dropdown menu. Instead, you can find them in the menu of the Plan Details section (the black menu bar) at the very top of the page. Click the three horizontal lines (also referred to as a hamburger menu) to the right of the scenario title to rename, copy, switch or delete scenarios. These options are now accessible from almost any page within Snap (for example Client Report and Scenario Setup).

    d

    Report creation and viewing changes

    The report pages also have been improved. Now you can generate or save the PDF without having to first go to the Report Preview. We've also aligned the Report Settings, Report Editor, Report Preview, Language Settings and Generate PDF all in the third-level navigation to make these more discoverable.

    e

    Help Menu additions

    The Help icon in the bottom right corner was previously blocking some of the text on the Planning Page. To resolve this, we've added more Help options to the top right corner of the screen and removed the icon in the bottom right. Now when you select Help at the top right, you'll have access to five different help methods as well as our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. The Help options provide access to the following resources:
  • Help Center - Provides access to articles, downloads (e.g., client questionnaire Word document), and webinar recordings.
  • Instant Answers - View relevant articles to the current page that you're on or search for keywords to find the right resource.
  • New Message - Send our Customer Success team a message with any questions.
  • Previous Messages - View previous conversations with our Customer Success team for answers and resources.
  • What’s New? - Displays the latest updates to the software with links to relevant articles to learn more.
  • f

    Personal Settings access: Logout, Billing information, etc.

    Your name in the top right corner has now been changed to your initials. From here you can access and change your personal information, billing settings and more.

    g

    Autosave enabled throughout most of the software

    We have enabled autosave throughout most input pages to remove confusion about whether your changes have been applied. Previously, there were some pages that would autosave as you entered information and others that you had to manually save. When you're inputting data in the Scenario Setup pages, you'll now see a green Saved indicator at the bottom of each page that will update as you enter your details. You don't need to click the Saved indicator.

    As a note, there are a few remaining pages that are less frequently used (for example the Insurance input pages, Report Settings) that still require you to save the page to apply changes. These will be updated to autosave in the future.

    4

    FAQs from the new changes

    We have been testing the new design one on one with users for the last month to incorporate feedback and ensure the transition is intuitive and digestible. The following questions came up through the process. We've made changes to best address the questions and have also included them below to try and remove any remaining confusion.

    Q. Where did the Copy Scenario, Switch Scenario and Delete Scenario options go that were under the Run Scenario dropdown menu?

    A. These options were moved to the menu of the Level 1: Plan Details section at the very top of the page. Click the three horizontal lines to the right of the scenario title (the hamburger menu) to rename, copy, switch or delete scenarios.

    Q. When creating a new plan, do I need to finish all Scenario Setup pages before proceeding to the Planning Pages?

    A. No. Once you've finished entering the Client details (for example their name, date of birth, province of residence) you can proceed to the Planning Pages at any time. You can choose to continue in the Scenario Setup flow for as long as you'd like or you can proceed to the Planning Pages and then return to the Scenario Setup at any time to add or change your inputs. We changed the initial input flow to proceed through all Scenario Setup pages to improve discoverability so that advisors know everything that's available for their use and to provide more flexibility to customize your plan creation process to your needs.

    Q. How do I know which person or entity (client, corporation) I'm working on for the Scenario Setup and Planning Pages?

    A. Your selected person or entity for the Scenario Setup and Planning Pages is the darkest blue option of the Level 3: Selected Person/Entity section. The name of the selected person or entity is also shown in the Level 1: Plan Details section before the scenario title.

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    Jan 17, 2022, Release Notes

    Highlights:

    1. Further Financial Data Updates for 2022
    2. LIRA to LIF default conversion age update
    1

    Further Financial Data Update for 2022

    We have made additional updates to the financial data for 2022 including the OAS and CPP/QPP annual amounts.

    Please click here to review the previous updates for 2022.

    2

    LIRA to LIF default conversion age update

    In order to make your projections even simpler, LIRA and DCPP accounts will now start paying out income in the year of retirement by default. The LIRA to LIF conversion age can be adjusted under Settings -> Registered Assets. The initial setting will default to the individual's retirement age minus one year.

    The previous conversion age default was age 65.

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    Dec 31, 2021, Release Notes

    Highlights:

    1. Financial Data Update for 2022
    2. Entering passive income for a Corporation
    3. Unlocking 100% of Manitoba LIF assets
    1

    Financial Data Update for 2022

    We have just updated Snap Projections with all available and relevant financial figures and tax data so you can create up-to-date, accurate projections for your clients in 2022. Some of the highlights are the following:

    The RRSP maximum contribution limit is $29,210.
    The TFSA maximum contribution limit is $6,000, however, the maximum cumulative limit for a client who has never contributed to a TFSA is as high as $81,500.
    The CPP Maximum Pensionable Earnings is $64,900.
    The EI Maximum Insurable Earnings is $60,300.
    EI premium rates and maximums (the maximum annual employee premium is $952.74 which is higher than $889.54 in 2021).
    Federal and Provincial Tax data for all provinces including Quebec that include tax credits, tax brackets and tax rates, and other relevant figures.

    While all your new scenarios will be created using the new values going forward, your old scenarios created with the starting year of 2021 and earlier have not been recalculated. Rebasing allows you to take any older scenario and create an updated copy for 2022. When you rebase a scenario, the originals are kept intact so they can be available indefinitely (unless you delete them) for historical, compliance, or other purposes. Here is more information about scenario re-basing for 2022.

    Scenarios that you created in 2021 with the starting year of 2022 will not require a rebase. These scenarios will have the new financial data for 2022 applied to them when you run the scenario. More detail can be found here: What happens to the projections when you open them in a new year?

    2

    Entering passive income for a Corporation

    You can now enter Other Investment Income (e.g., rental income, royalties) for corporations in Snap directly on the Corporate Planning page.

    Other Investment Income entered in this column will be taxed at the appropriate passive income rate for the province of the corporation. The income will also be used to determine any required reduction to the Small Business Deduction (SBD) limit for the corporation.

    Using this new functionality and the recently released Real Assets and Debts features, you can more easily include rental properties within your corporate plans in Snap. You can check out our recent webinar overview of the corporate planning functionality to learn more.

    3

    Manitoba Unlocking

    You can now unlock up to 100% of Manitoba LIF assets at the time of converting a LIRA to LIF in your plans. This update reflects recent legislative changes. The following article shares more detail about selecting a jurisdiction for your LIRA/LIFs in Snap and how to unlock LIF assets upon conversion.

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    Dec 7, 2021, Release Notes

    Where did the Capital and Estate Section go?

    The biggest change you are going to notice with this new release is that the Capital and Estate section that used to be at the bottom of the Planning page has moved! Just click the new blue icon at the top of the Estate Before Tax column to open it up.

    Where did the Capital and Estate Section go?


    Highlights:

    1. New method to compare Capital and Estate sections for different scenarios
    2. Menu changes and General UI updates
    3. You can now adjust Sharing options for all client profiles at once
    4. Our first integration allows for importing client information
    1

    New method to compare Capital and Estate sections for different scenarios

    The ability to compare the Capital and Estatesection for different scenarios right on the Planning page has been improved! As well as comparing the final year of the projections between scenarios, you can now compare any given year. The method to open the Capital and Estate section has changed and we would like to highlight that here.

    Previously, you would scroll down to the bottom of the Planning page to see the Capital and Estate section. Now, you can click the blue icon at the top of the Estate Before Tax column or simply click the value of the Estate Before Tax in any given year to view the Estate Summary for that year.

    OR


    If you have multiple scenarios for your clients, you can compare them here as well. Just click the Compare with Other Scenarios button.

    2

    With this latest update, we have improved the look and feel of almost all pages. The Settings dropdown menu has a new option called General to make it easier to navigate directly to the General Settings page which includes the Start and End year of the projections, the Retirement ages, Inflation Rates and Default Rates of Return. Previously, you had to select Client Details and then Save & Next to get to this page. Now, please use the General option to go directly there. Under Settings --> Advanced, you will only find the Advanced options such as CFM options and enabling pension income splitting. To edit the Start and End dates of the projections, please go to Settings --> General instead.

    Many of the screens within the application are looking a little bit different with this release. We are gradually making user interface (UI) changes to make Snap Projections even easier to use and navigate.

    Minor changes include, for example, the icons to control the CFM Start Age and Pension Income Splitting on the Planning pages are now blue instead of yellow. On the Client Details data entry page, you will see an editable calendar to select the individual's date of birth rather than a picklist for a month, day, and year.

    3

    You can now adjust sharing options for all client profiles at once

    When you select team members to share client profiles with, you now have the option to enable these same sharing settings for all of your existing clients.

    4

    Our first integration allows for importing client information

    Our first integration allows for importing client information from Sterling Mutuals (One Boss). Snap Projections can communicate with the OneBoss application to import certain client data from OneBoss and start a client projection for you automatically.

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