Analyze & View Options

Humans are visual creatures, and OnTrajectory provides you many options for viewing your financial future.

1. Analysis Mode

Analysis Mode

The key difference between Basic and Advanced Analysis Mode is the amount of control you have over input parameters and the results you see for Monte Carlo or Historical Analysis. When Basic Mode is selected the default settings are run whenever the "Refresh Your Trajectory" button is clicked. This button is displayed whenever you are in Basic Mode with either analysis type selected and a data change is made, as shown below: Refresh Trajectory

When Advanced Mode is selected, there are many options for both running analyses as well as viewing the results. For more information on how to configure Monte Carlo and Historical Analysis or how to interpret the rich data that OnTrajectory produces, see the guide Monte Carlo & Historical Analysis.

2. Trajectory View-Options

Trajectory Views

The orange line, which is shown by default (as below) depicts either your Assets or your Net-Worth and is based on the growth rates of your investments (defined in the "% Growth" column on the Accounts table). Trajectory Views

If you uncheck the option "Show Average % Growth Trajectory", both the orange line and the % Growth column will be hidden.

Viewing your Trajectory 'As Assets' is the default view, meaning that as you accrue funds (even if you have debt), the line will go up. If you have defined 'debt' associated with an expense — and you wish that amount to be deducted from view, choose the 'As Net-Worth' option.

Finally, the Focus on Deficit-Period option allows you to automatically "zoom-in" on periods of time when your assets/net-worth have gone negative and you wish to visually focus on that range of time — until of course you get out of debt!

3. Calculation View-Options

Calculation Views

By default, everything you do in OnTrajectory is in "Today's Dollars" — the advantage of this approach is that you can always think about future expenses (and income) in terms of what things cost now and not have to worry about inflation. However, if you'd like to see amounts expressed in "Tomorrow's Dollars" (not compenstated for inflation), select the "Show in Tomorrow's Dollars" option. Note that this applies only to values in the graph, values listed in the Income/Expense/Accounts item tables are always expressed in Today's Dollars.

The other option in this section is Employ a Debt Reduction Strategy. This option is only available if you have defined "debt" either from the item properties (wrench icon) of an expense or as a loan associated with a Home Equity account. If you have debt you can experiment with different pay-down strategies — specifically "Snowball" or "Avalanche".

Snowball is an approach where you pay down your smallest debts first, Avalanche pays down debt with the highest interesest rate first. For more information, please see the guide Dealing with Debt.

4. Additional View-Options

Additional Views

Finally, there are several other ways to view your information based on your own personal situation.

  1. Show Progress & Projected Progress — if you are using OnTrajectory to track your progress against your assumptions, you can display your past progress as a separate green line. In addition, a projection of (possible) future progress is shown with a dotted grey line, which extends your last recorded progress point through to your Trajectory End Age. For more information, see the guide Tracking Progress
  2. Show Spending — This option creates a visual overlay of your spending for each year. The spending amount is not drawn to scale with the y-axis, but rather as a percentage of the max spending. In other words, if the maximum you ever spent in a particular year is 100k, that will be the tallest spend-line. In a year where you spent 80k, that line will be 20% shorter.
  3. Show Net-Worth — A line which displays your assets minus debt.
    Note: Debt can be defined for each expense item. Mortgage debt defined in a Home/Rental Equity item will not affect this line because your trajectory reflects only equity and not the full value of a property.
  4. Show Debt — A line representing the amount of debt defined either for an expense or for a Home/Rental Equity item.
  5. Show Liquid Assets — This option draws a black line representing assets that are "liquid", i.e. not tied up as equity in a property. Assets are also considered illiquid if you select "Prevent Automatic Drawdown" from an item's properties.
  6. Show Items / Ranges — This option places a marker on your Trajectory where Income, Expenses, or Accounts begin/end. You can hover over any marker to see what it represents, as shown below:
  7. Tooltip

The following topics will be covered in this Guide: