How to use the series builder

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Video - How to use the series builder


What is the series builder?

The series builder is a blue sparkline that lets you change values over time for some fields (e.g. interest rates, property values, income).

Any field that uses the series builder will have an arrow ▼ on the right of the field, which opens a pop-up with more options. Note that the sparkline chart is only for the first 10 years, so if you want to see more years, open the pop-up.

Fields in the series builder pop-up

The series builder pop-up allows you to edit more options and see the projected future values. To open the series builder pop-up, click the arrow ▼ on the right of the series builder field:

Clicking the arrow will show a pop-up like this where you can set more options (note that different fields may not show all the options listed below because they are not relevant to the field):

'Frequency' field in the series builder pop-up

  • When you enter a value, you need to say how often it occurs in the Frequency field. The default is 'Annual', but you can choose a variety of options from weekly to every 5 years. If the amount should only occur on one year, (e.g. a new car), then you can choose 'One off'.
  • If you choose a frequency that isn't annual, you can see the total annual value and the years it is applied in the  Entered value (annual) row in the series builder pop-up.
  • For some fields, you will not see the Frequency field because it is always 'annual' by default (e.g. for interest rates)
 Click here to see an example...

In this example, you can see that the Frequency has been entered as 'Monthly' and the value has been entered as $1,000, so the Entered value (annual) is given as $12,000 (i.e. $1,000 x 12 months):

'Index by' field

  • The Index by field is the rate at which the entered values increase.  Most of the time, the index will be pre-filled with a default value, however you have the option to change it. Some examples of why a value should be indexed are:
    • An individual who earns a salary can expect pay rises in future years, you can choose the Index by field to increase the amount by a percentage each year.
    • For Expenses you can expect prices to rise with inflation (CPI)
    • For Properties you can expect their value to grow over time
    • You can also use this field to enter asset depreciation.  See How to enter depreciation.
  • You can see the projected indexed value in the Indexed value (annual) row
  • For the options that have a name (i.e. CPI, AWOTE, House Price Growth), Optimo Financial has default values (indicated in parentheses).  If you wish to use different values, you can use the the Custom % frequency to set any percentage.  You can also contact Optimo Financial to override the default series values for your organsiation.
 Click here to see an example...

In this example, you can see that the Index by value has been chosen as 'CPI (2.5%)', and in the Indexed value (annual) line you can see the amount increasing by 2.5% every year:

'Reference year' field

The Reference year field is the year in which the indexed value equals the value you entered.  By default, the first financial year of the analysis is chosen, however you can change this if required. You should only do this if you are sure the value is in future dollars, otherwise it is safer to keep the reference year as the default and apply the indexation.

 Click here to see an example...

In this example, the individual wants to buy a property worth $500,000 in 2019/20 dollars and they have assumed that property prices will increase by 5% a year, so:

  • On the main form, fill in the property value with $500,000
  • In the pop-up:
    • The Index by field is filled in with 5%
    • The reference year is given as 2019/20
  • In the Indexed value (annual) row in the table you can see:
    • The value is $500,000 in 2019/20 (the same year as the entered reference year)
    • The value in 2016/17 is $431,919. So with 5%pa indexation, this is projected to become $500,000 in 2019/20

'Edit value' and the 'Expanded values' table

If you'd like to enter values based on someone's age, you can use the Age lookup table to find the corresponding financil year. For more, see How to read the Age Lookup table.

The Expanded values table has the following rows:

  • Edit value - The Edit value row lets you edit future values for the amount.  You should always enter the unindexed value. For more examples of using this field see:
  • Entered value (annual) - If you chose a frequency that is different from 'Annual' (e.g. weekly), then this row will show the annual value.  It does not have the indexation applied.
  • Indexed value (annual) - This is the same as the Entered value (annual), except that the value will be indexed by the percentage that was entered in the Index by field.  The values in these two rows will match in the year that was entered in the Reference year field

More series builder examples