Financial Advisor

The Ambiguous Financial Advisor: Why Finding Financial Advice Sucks and How We Can Fix It

Life throws curveballs. A new baby, a dream home, retirement looming – these are just a few moments where we crave the guidance of a financial advisor. Someone to steer us clear of pitfalls and ensure we’re making informed decisions. But finding the right advisor? That’s where things get messy.

The current system is a labyrinth of confusion, frustration, and ultimately, inaction. Here’s why:

The Foggy Maze

The entire process is shrouded in mystery. We’re bombarded with clickbait and questionnaires asking us to give up very personal information and control. Click submit and watch your inbox and phone explode! It’s like being a contestant on American Gladiators but you’re blindfolded.

Paradox of Plenty

If we do manage to get through an event or two in our American Gladiators alternate universe, we’re met with a mountain of options. Endless advisor profiles, each claiming expertise in our specific needs. The sheer volume becomes overwhelming, paralyzing us with indecision. We end up choosing nobody, defeated by the paradox of choice.

The ZIP Code Trap

Getting matched with a financial advisor based solely on zip codes and net worth feels like a bad Tinder date. It ignores the human element, the crucial connection that makes us trust and open up. We’re reduced to financial data points, not individuals with unique hopes and dreams.

So, how do we fix this broken system? It’s time for an intelligent and financial matchmaking revolution:

Clarity is King

Demystify the process. Explain each step, the reasoning behind it, and what to expect at every turn. Let both the client and advisor understand the journey they’re on.

Client in the Driver’s Seat

Empower the client to take control. Instead of passive searching, use intelligent matching to shortlist candidates to speed up the process while also highly personalizing the experience so you are compelled to initiate contact. Think Bumble for financial advice, where clients make the first move.

Beyond the Numbers

Go deeper than zip codes and investable assets. Match advisors based on shared values, communication styles, and even life experiences. Show clients the human side of their potential advisor, building rapport before delving into financial details.

It’s a Two Way Street

I can tell you from personal experience as a CFP that if I’m going to spend my time helping people then I should also have a choice on which clients I want to work with.  Although in the early years I was open to working it didn’t mean I still wasn’t thinking about who I would prefer to work with.  Advisors work damned hard and do amazing things for their clients so the process of finding a financial advisor should also be more thoughtful of who the advisor is and who they want to work with.

Remember, financial decisions are often deeply personal. We need a system that recognizes that, one that fosters trust and understanding before even thinking about investments or portfolios. By making the process transparent, client-driven, and human-centered, we can transform finding a financial advisor from a frustrating chore to an empowering journey towards financial security.

As a financial advisor since 2006 I’ve been highly personalizing my inbound client acquisition process, but the issue with my process, even though it worked really well, is that it was not scalable.  This is where a smart and embedded technology solution can help by matching people with intent at scale and speeding up the rapport and trust building process.  Whether it’s better attracting and converting new client traffic or re-engaging orphan clients that your firm still has a duty to, we know that a human centered technology solution can solve for these goals and do it quickly and efficiently while not forgetting the human element.

So, the next time life throws you a curveball, don’t settle for the confusing, opaque maze of traditional advisor-finding. Demand a revolution. Demand clarity, control, and a touch of human connection. After all, your financial well-being deserves it.


Derek Notman