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What can I do to improve the recommended financial advisors page?

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  • What can I do to improve the recommended financial advisors page?

    There is a page on the website that I started because I kept getting asked for financial advisor recommendations. After a while, it started becoming a lot of work so I monetized it to make it worth my while to maintain it (i.e. advisors have to not only pass the vetting process, but also pay to be listed there.)

    It' main purpose is to fulfill the traditional third mission of this site:

    # 1 Help those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street

    # 2 Fulfill my inner entrepreneur (make me some money and make me feel like I built something worthwhile)

    # 3 Help connect high-income professionals with "the good guys" in the financial services industry

    If you have a minute, I'd love for you to take a look at it and give me some blunt and honest feedback as to how I can make it more useful to readers and advisors alike.

    Recommended Financial Advisors Page

    Do you think most website users know about it? Do you think someone who wanted to hire an advisor would use an advisor listed on that page? Are there too many advisors listed or too few? What information do you think ought to be included about each advisor? What changes could I make that would make it more effective?
    Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011

  • #2
    Thanks for asking. I actually refer a lot of folks to this web page. I have looked at it too for myself  and it's become a bit of an unwieldy list- with slightly different info for each FA, so I found that difficult to compare them. Also, I did look into a few for myself and found some do no offer true full service advising, some just do investment recs, etc. This was a while ago so that may have changed.

     

    So suggestions

    - have the same info for each listing, if possible

    -links on the page to how to pick an FA, what questions to ask, etc (I found the link separately, but would be nice to have these link on top)

    Comment


    • #3
      Would also be nice to see actual reviews - I assume those on the list have gotten business through this page.

      Comment


      • #4
        I agree with conniebird that actual reviews or a star system would be nice.

        Comment


        • #5
          The problem with doing reviews is they will actually affect how much business these folks get. So what's to keep them from "reviewing" each other poorly? Plus the libel issues etc. That's basically why I stopped doing reviews of physician financial firms- it became a major headache to police the reviews. I don't want to run "Yelp."

          The way I've dealt with this in the past is that if I get bad feedback about a company from readers (usually via email) I simply stop selling ads to a company and they just disappear from the list.
          Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011

          Comment


          • #6
            Would like to see all info in a tabulated Excel file - fee for service or % of AUM and if so what, minimum assets to be managed, specializations if any etc so that one can sort ou based on one's needs.

            Comment


            • #7
              I agree with the comments above and I would also suggest some recommendations for tax attorneys (or some people who are both CPAs and tax attorneys). From reading your book and James Bogle"s book, it is fairly straightforward to figure out the basics like maxing out retirements accounts, investing and holding low cost passive index funds no matter what the market does, disability/life insurance, etc.. Per "Simple Wealth, Inevitable Wealth," FAs are essential for those who need to set up plan and who need some hand holding during market down turns. The next level happens after years of investing and saving when you approach retirement. What is the best way to take advantage of tax laws so that your RMDs keep you in a lower tax bracket for those who may not need the retirement income they are forced to take? What is the best way to leave money to heirs if you have more than you need when you retire? Under what circumstances is it advantageous to leave retirement inheritance to grandchildren instead of children with respect to RMDs and taxes? RETIRE SECURE by Lange addresses these topics and so much more. He discusses tips about titling retirement accounts to heirs for increased growth after death. Unfortunately, he only sees local clients in PA.

              Comment


              • #8
                I'm glad you've started this thread. The page has become a bit unwieldy. Also, because the number of advisors has grown so, the advisors at the top are more likely to be seen than those who readers must scroll down to. It would be nice to see the list shuffled, the way they do on PMD, or at least listed alphabetically, so there was no implication that advisors are listed in a specific order.

                I also have a couple of suggestions to help those looking for an advisor:

                • You close your remarks on the Recommended Advisors page with, "If you have a particularly good or bad experience, I would love to hear and incorporate your feedback on to this page." Hyperlink "would love to hear" so the reader can click and comment easily. Since your opening commentary is so long and I doubt that many people will read it all, I believe it would also be beneficial to somehow highlight this sentence so clients of the advisors will find it more easily.

                • Include a link to the IAPD website, where users can easily look up an advisor's ADV ("brochure"). To me, finding the correct page to look up an ADV is incredibly difficult, even for me. I keep it bookmarked on my toolbar as I frequently look up ADVs of other firms.

                  • Now that I think about it - would a post on ADVs be helpful to your reading audience? They are so incredibly important and useful but I doubt 1% of the readers here know how, why, and what to look for. Maybe I could submit a post explaining what to look for and how the public should use them? Maybe the post could be hyperlinked next to the ADV link so you wouldn't have to expand the commentary even further with an explanation of ADVs? Thoughts?




                 
                Working to protect good doctors from bad advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

                Comment


                • #9
                  How about a page where members of this site can at least indicate that they have consulted with a particular FA so that if another member has a question a private message can be sent? In that way, there is no need to police the reviews or deal with liability concerns.

                   

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    To make it helpful, list the fee structures for all at a bare minimum.  I know many of these advisors don't want to put their fees online, but transparency is the best option.  Also not all of these people take clients everywhere, so their practice locations would be helpful.

                    I think a great option would be to remove the fluff summaries and put up a comparison chart the way companies do when comparing washing machines or widgets on Amazon or Consumer Reports.  Pick 7-10 categories (investment advice, insurance advice, contract negotiation, etc) and have a mark or score of some kind for each category so people know quickly what each place offers and the price.   I know the last thing an advisor wants is to be commoditized, but if the goal is to let someone QUICKLY find a match, that is going to be more effective than the current setup.

                    At a minimum you could create that type of chart and then have the summaries in the background and when someone clicked on the link they could read the self-written advertising blurb.  But if I only want an hourly advisor to review my estate planning and college planning and nothing else in the state of MO through Skype (maybe I don't care about in-person) vs. an all-encompassing advisor I can see face to face and pay an AUM fee < 1% to manage everything, it's about impossible to figure that out from the current setup.
                    An alt-brown look at medicine, money, faith, & family
                    www.RogueDadMD.com

                    Comment


                    • #11




                      I’m glad you’ve started this thread. The page has become a bit unwieldy. Also, because the number of advisors has grown so, the advisors at the top are more likely to be seen than those who readers must scroll down to. It would be nice to see the list shuffled, the way they do on PMD, or at least listed alphabetically, so there was no implication that advisors are listed in a specific order.

                      I also have a couple of suggestions to help those looking for an advisor:

                      • You close your remarks on the Recommended Advisors page with, “If you have a particularly good or bad experience, I would love to hear and incorporate your feedback on to this page.” Hyperlink “would love to hear” so the reader can click and comment easily. Since your opening commentary is so long and I doubt that many people will read it all, I believe it would also be beneficial to somehow highlight this sentence so clients of the advisors will find it more easily.

                      • Include a link to the IAPD website, where users can easily look up an advisor’s ADV (“brochure”). To me, finding the correct page to look up an ADV is incredibly difficult, even for me. I keep it bookmarked on my toolbar as I frequently look up ADVs of other firms.

                        • Now that I think about it – would a post on ADVs be helpful to your reading audience? They are so incredibly important and useful but I doubt 1% of the readers here know how, why, and what to look for. Maybe I could submit a post explaining what to look for and how the public should use them? Maybe the post could be hyperlinked next to the ADV link so you wouldn’t have to expand the commentary even further with an explanation of ADVs? Thoughts?




                       
                      Click to expand...


                      I think it's funny that you of all people would describe the opening commentary as "long" as it is long because you specifically requested I make it longer to include certain information!
                      Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011

                      Comment


                      • #12


                        I think it’s funny that you of all people would describe the opening commentary as “long” as it is long because you specifically requested I make it longer to include certain information!
                        Click to expand...


                        LOL, good for you to call me on that! You don't mis a blink. Although, if you will recall, my main concern was that it was difficult to tell that the advisor page is pay for play.
                        Working to protect good doctors from bad advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I also think there should be some form of feedback encouraged regarding the recommended individuals. As an avid Yelp user, I have seen companies get numerous positive reviews to the point that they so are inundated with clients that the quality of service, reliability, etc deteriorates. The same thing can happen here. Someone can start out amazing and then falter simply because he/she can not keep up with the demand.

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