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Tips for creating scenarios (Cashflows & Goals step)


In the Cashflows & Goals step (on the top menu), you can create scenarios. Once you are happy with the results of the first scenario, you can copy the scenario and do variations for comparison. For tips on how to approach setting up scenarios, see Suggested approach for modelling a case in Pathfinder.

Each scenario has the following sections:


What can be entered here (click links for more details)

Top section

  • Scenario name field - Give the scenario a descriptive name

  • Scenario notes - put notes about the scenario, such as how it is different from the another scenario

  • Scenario description (for customer) - notes about the modelling and results that you would like included the the results documents.

  • Analysis years - choose how many years you want to do the analysis for. For more, see How to set the number of years for analysis

  • Duplicate the scenario so you can run another scenario for comparison. For more see How to make another scenario for comparison

Cash flows

At the Cash flows sub-step, you can enter details for:

Review Assets & Loans

At the Review assets & loans sub-step, you can set options for the items you entered at the Current situation > Assets and loans step (e.g. sell existing property) and also add new directly owned items. (e.g. invest in shares/managed fund).

For more information, see the page for the relevant item:

Cash reserve

At the Cash reserve sub-step, you can set a Cash reserve goal to keep aside funds for emergencies.

Retirement planning

At the Retirement planning sub-step, you can:

  • Set the retirement age/date

  • Set options for super contributions and pensions

For more information, see Retirement planning goal (super contributions and pensions)

Review super funds & SMSFs

At the Review super funds sub-step, you can:

  • Set options for existing super funds and SMSFs

  • Add new super funds or a new SMSF

For more information see Superannuation (a.k.a Super) and SMSF (Self-Managed Super Fund)

Review insurance

At the Review insurance sub-step, you can:

  • choose when to close existing insurance

  • add new insurance.

For more information, see Insurance

Review Trusts

At the Review trusts sub-step, you can add instructions for our analysts when you submit the case to the Optimo Financial SDS.

Add extra scenarios

See How to make another scenario for comparison.

Tips for creating scenarios

For more information on the specific options within scenarios see:

  • The help text in Pathfinder - most fields have help text giving more information.

  • The Websolve options section on the pages listed on Entering Data in Pathfinder

Give scenarios helpful names

  • By default, the first scenario's name will be 'Scenario 1'. However, it is better to rename your first scenario to be more descriptive (e.g. Basic cash flows, Buy home, Buy home and shares, Retire 60, Retire 65). When you copy a scenario, '(1)' will be automatically appended to its name

  • It is best to rename a scenario before clicking the Start solve button - if you edit the scenario name after you have results, the results will no longer be visible and you will need to click the  Start solve button again.

  • You can also add more information in the Scenario notes box, including notes on the results once you've reviewed them.

Try the robot button 

Robot button

For many actions and goals, you will see the robot icon:

Robot button

If you select this button for a field, then you are using Pathfinder’s powerful optimiser. This button is ideal for anything where there isn’t a personal preference, because it will give you an idea of feasible values.

For more, please see What does the 'Robot' button mean?

Set up your first scenario with care

If you set up your first scenario well, then running extra scenarios will be easier. If you're not sure where to start, see Suggested approach for modelling a case in Pathfinder.

Run more scenarios for comparison

Running another scenario lets you:

  • Explore different goals. e.g. compare the projected outcomes of retiring earlier or later
  • Compare the projected outcomes of different strategies. e.g. the difference in total wealth if making higher or lower voluntary super contributions
  • Use different assumptions to weigh up risk and return. e.g. run the same scenario with higher interest rates or a lower-risk investment profile
  • You can make as many scenarios as you need, however, note that:
    • At the Compare step, the charts look best if you compare six or fewer scenarios. If you have run more than 6 scenarios, you can choose a subset to compare in the charts.
    • If you submit the case to the Optimo Financial SDS, the quote is partly determined by the number of scenarios you ask Optimo to do analysis for.

See How to make another scenario for comparison

Keep track of your scenarios

Some tips for keeping track of different scenarios are:

  • Put notes about the results in the Scenario notes box which is directly under the Scenario name field (at the Cash flows & Goals step)

  • When you are happy with a scenario, if you want to run another scenario make a copy of it and make changes to the copy - this allows you to keep copies of the different results as well.

  • If you are confident that a particular scenario is not useful, you can delete it with the Delete scenario button (on the top right of the scenario in the Cash flows & Goals step)

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