Microsoft Money 2001 Helps Individuals Achieve Total Financial Health

REDMOND, Wash., Aug. 14, 2000 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the U.S. release of Money 2001 Deluxe and Money 2001 Standard, the newest versions of the company’s comprehensive personal finance software. As a growing number of Americans renew their commitment to achieving greater health and well-being, many are redefining their priorities. To fulfill goals ranging from greater work-life balance to longer, more active retirement, many individuals now seek to establish financial priorities that are in line with their personal objectives.

New for Microsoft Money 2001 is a unique, holistic approach to financial management that helps consumers better understand their particular financial situation and priorities, plan for the future, and take immediate action toward achieving fiscal well-being. Money 2001 combines sophisticated, easy-to-use software tools with rich Web integration to provide a complete personal finance solution.

“The release of Money 2001 marks a turning point in how we think about personal finance software,”
said Robbie Cape, product unit manager at Microsoft.
“For the first time, through our collaboration with American Express Financial Advisors, we have designed a product that asks consumers about their financial priorities, then provides a personalized, prescriptive set of actions that will help them accomplish their goals. Our mission with Money 2001 is to help people achieve total financial health while effortlessly managing day-to-day financial details.”

Helping Consumers Achieve Total Financial Health

Money 2001 makes it easier than ever for consumers to achieve and maintain total financial well-being. Money 2001 not only helps individuals monitor their financial progress, it also offers customized information to help users understand their current financial situation, where they’re going and how to get there.

“Personal finance packages are No. 1 on the list of software individuals purchase annually,”
said Chris Simons, product manager for Microsoft Money.
“Consumers are looking for products like Money 2001 that will keep pace with the increasing complexity of their finances. They want the latest, most comprehensive and most personalized tools available.”

According to a survey conducted by GartnerConsulting in Spring 2000, more than one in three recent software purchasers using a home PC for financial management acquire personal finance software on a yearly basis.

New tools in Money 2001 Deluxe that help consumers achieve total financial health include the following:

  • Financial priorities. The Money Setup Assistant includes a Priorities page where consumers can identify their top priorities, such as eliminating debt or investing for retirement. The Money 2001 experience can be tailored to each individual, based on the priorities they’ve specified.

  • Feedback pane. Real-time financial feedback is available within the Account Register. The Feedback Pane displays timely information, such as how well an individual is adhering to a budget and projected cash flow. This information enables consumers to monitor their financial health, watch for financial opportunities and pitfalls, and conduct common tasks related to account and bills management.

  • Advisor FYI enhancements. Advisor FYI™
    provides consumers with personalized, prescriptive financial guidance by offering greater detail on finances and links to resources where they can take immediate action toward achieving their financial goals, such as how to obtain lower interest rates on credit cards or loans.

Collaborating With American Express Financial Advisors to Strengthen Planning Tools

Microsoft worked with American Express Financial Advisors, which pioneered financial planning, to develop Money 2001. The two teams collaborated to create a product with sophisticated yet easy-to-use tools to support long-term planning and investment decisions, as well as tools to manage short-term plans such as budgets and cash flow.

“American Express has prepared 1.5 million financial plans to date. Through our three-year alliance with Microsoft, we have had the opportunity to bring our high quality of experience in financial planning to Money users,”
said Debra Rabe, vice president, American Express Financial Advisors.
“Through our collaboration, we have created a product that provides consumers with the best short- and long-term planning tools available today in personal finance software.”

New short-term and long-term planning tools in Money 2001 Deluxe include the following:

  • Cash Flow Planner combines forecasted bills with the individual’s transaction history to provide a more complete picture of expected cash flow.

  • Budget Maintenance offers the ability to reallocate budgets when financial changes or over- or underspending occurs. Consumers can help balance overspending in one category by adjusting amounts in other categories or periods.

  • Asset Allocation helps consumers learn why and how to allocate their investment portfolio and to determine the allocation that’s best suited for their investment profile. With Asset Allocation, consumers can monitor and rebalance their portfolio over time.

Streamlining Day-to-Day Money Management Via the Internet

Money 2001 makes basic day-to-day money management issues even easier to handle by streamlining the data-entry process. Money 2001 is integrated with the MSN® MoneyCentral™ online personal finance service, allowing consumers to access excellent investment tools, download bank statements and manage their investments and finances at any time, from anywhere.

New and enhanced tools in Money 2001 designed to streamline day-to-day finances include the following:

  • Integration with My MoneyCentral. Money 2001 offers synchronization with My MoneyCentral, a new service that consolidates financial transactions and balances from multiple financial institutions onto a single site. Consumers can now view bank, brokerage, credit card and loan statements, and more from a central location — even from financial institutions that don’t support direct connections to Microsoft Money. When users are connected to the Internet, Money 2001 automatically downloads My MoneyCentral data into their Money file.

  • 401(k) Manager simplifies the process of creating and updating 401(k) and 403b accounts in Money. Individuals now can download 401(k) statements from participating plan providers and eliminate manual data entry.

  • Home Valuation allows consumers to quickly assess the value of their home using the MSN HomeAdvisor™
    online real estate service. They can then download the information into Money to ensure the accuracy of net worth reports, tax estimations and more.

Making Tax Time Easier With Money 2001

New developments in the Money 2001 Tax Center help individuals simplify the process of tracking, managing and filing their taxes. New features include the following:

  • Tax Withholding Estimator. This tool provides consumers with an easy way to determine the appropriate withholding amount for their particular situation and effectively manage their annual tax burden.

  • Integration with TaxCut from H & R Block. Through Microsoft’s relationship with H & R Block, TaxCut now automatically recognizes and reads tax-related data from Money 2001 data files. TaxCut allows consumers to review or update the information for more complete, accurate tax return preparation.

Pricing and Availability

Microsoft Money 2001 Deluxe is available at an estimated retail price* of $64.95 (U.S.) with a $20 rebate. Money 2001 Standard is available for an estimated retail price* of $34.95 (U.S.) with a $10 rebate. Money 2001 Deluxe + Business is scheduled to be available in December 2000 for an estimated retail price* of $84.95 (U.S.) with a $20 rebate.

To order Money 2001, consumers can visit or their local retailer.

About American Express

American Express Financial Advisors is one of the nation’s leading financial planning companies. It is part of the American Express Financial Corporation, which currently owns or manages more than $286 billion in assets. Through a network of more than 11,000 financial advisors and its online brokerage, the company provides comprehensive, long-term financial planning and high-quality financial products to more than 2.3 million clients throughout the United States.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

* Reseller prices may vary.

Microsoft, Advisor FYI, MSN, MoneyCentral and HomeAdvisor are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

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