The financial services industry is often characterized by a plethora of titles, with many individuals referring to themselves as "Financial Advisors". This can create confusion and make it challenging to determine the best fit for one's financial needs. To provide clarity, we've grouped financial advisors into three distinct categories. Our team falls into the Trusted Advisor category.
Each type serves a specific purpose and understanding these categories will help you determine the right fit for you.
The industry started off with almost all sales-oriented advisors. These were people that were representatives of insurance and investment companies, contracted to sell their products. These advisors were trained to go through a process in order to recognize pain points and fill them with a product. They receive commissions based on the products that they sell.
As time went on, companies grew and began offering more products. Investment companies began selling insurance and insurance companies began selling investments. Salespeople were given more training which allowed them to advertise as "comprehensive advisors", but at the end of the day, their job was still to identify gaps and fill them with products.
Sales-oriented advisors will work with anyone, anywhere, and will sell you anything that you want to buy. For them, it is a numbers game. There is nothing wrong with this. Many do-it-yourself types depend on sales-oriented advisors to provide necessary insurance and investment products. If you are a do-it-yourselfer and know what product you need, a sales-oriented advisor would be a great person to buy from.
In 1983, the National Association of Personal Financial Planners was established in response to the prevalent conflicts of interest in the financial industry. The organization sought to promote a fee-based model for financial planning services, reducing the potential for conflicted advice. These advisors provide a financial plan for a flat fee and leave it up to individuals to implement their plan. Over time, this approach to financial planning has gained traction and has become a cornerstone of best practices for trusted financial advisors today.
A frequent strategy among those searching for personalized financial planning is to first work with a planning-only advisor to assess their financial situation and pinpoint areas for improvement. This information can then be used to inform decisions about whether to turn to an investment or insurance company, or engage a sales-oriented advisor, to fill any identified gaps and put the financial plan into action.
A trusted advisor not only provides the planning services of a traditional financial planner, but they also provide solutions that a sales-oriented advisor would offer. They go beyond just creating a financial plan and actively implement, monitor, and adjust the plan to help their clients achieve their desired financial outcomes. This personalized and hands-on approach to financial planning and wealth management combines the benefits of both planning-only and sales-oriented advisors, providing clients with a comprehensive and customized solution, while also being there to support them along the way.
A Trusted Advisor is a good fit for individuals who want to delegate financial management tasks and focus on other priorities. This is where our team fits in. We provide hands-on financial planning and wealth management services to help you reach your goals, allowing you to focus on what is more important to you.