Today’s Post is written by Dave Grant, CFP®. Dave is an internationally known planner specializing in how younger financial planners can excel in their career (he founded NAPFA Genesis, a networking group for young, fee-only planners). Dave writes a column for Financial Planning magazine, speaks at conferences, consults with financial planning technology companies, and has earned various awards for his work.
If you’re interested in hearing more from Dave, follow him on Twitter @davegrant82
A Simpler Way To Find A (Fee-Based) Advisor
We all know of someone who’s been on Match.com, and given its success and presence in the online dating space, you may know someone who has married as a result of this site – I know I have more than one example.
However, in the evolving world of dating technology, a simpler technology has emerged. By looking at a photo and brief bio of someone on the Tinder app, you can “swipe right” on your phone’s screen to accept a match with them, or “swipe left” to decline. If they find your profile and also “swipe right” you’ll be matched and notified. How does a married man of 10 years know this? Google, I promise.
But it’s not just in the world of dating. This technology has moved into angel investing with apps like LetsVenture and Axial matching startup ventures with potential investors. This begs the question, when will it move into the world of personal finance?
When will your potential clients being able to find you in a location-specific financial advisor app, and “swipe right” if they like the look of you and your profile?
Before you click out of this article, I know what I just alluded to – “let’s make finding a financial advisor like finding a quick date.” But it would be fickle to quickly dismiss this idea given how popular the methods are becoming on other platforms.
We have sophisticated systems of helping individuals find dates, good food, potential start-up investments and stimulating places to go for entertainment. Why can’t we build an all-encompassing, quick and easy-to-use platform to help people find an advisor?
How Might This Work?
Picture it – an app that features a photograph and brief bio (125 words) of an advisor. The advisor can specify the top three planning specialties they have and this goes into screening them for potential consumers, but also the top three personality traits they possess. If there are company asset minimums, then these should be used in the filtering process as well.
It would operate as a pure platform – meaning that only fee-only and fee-based advisors are eligible – with location being the determining factor for filtering.
Consumers would log on, specify where they live (much like they do now with Tinder) and give a radius of how far away they would like their advisor to be. They can make a list of qualities they want in their advisor, both in specialty and personality. At that point, a shortlist becomes available and consumers can “swipe left or swipe right”.
Once a consumer is matched with an advisor, the advisor can decide if they want to talk to the consumer or not, and if there is a match, then the system will allow both parties to communicate directly with each other.
Should a match become a success and a working relationship formed, then an online review system could be used to boost advisors ranks both up and down (I am aware of the can of worms I’m bringing into the topic here!)
Of course a platform like this will have its challenges:
- Where will a developer find users, both advisor and consumer?
- How to mitigate any misuse on the platform?
- How to ensure consistency of experience with advisors?
- How to eliminate “tire-kicking” of advisors leading to wasted time? (Being a paid app could avoid this).
While this idea may not be perfect in the outline I’ve provided, the underlying issue is how consumers are finding advisors. We have sophisticated systems of helping individuals find dates, good food, potential start-up investments and stimulating places to go for entertainment. Why can’t we build an all-encompassing, quick and easy to use platform to help people find an advisor?