I’m reminded of a conversation I had recently with a young, dynamic financial advisor who broke away from his broker-dealer about two years ago. This advisor, in a state of wonder and invention, reached out with a question that stemmed from a statement I had made in a previous conversation. In that conversation, I said something like “If I were to start an RIA tomorrow, I would do it with just Elements and a spreadsheet.”
The idea of starting a practice with nothing but Elements and some spreadsheets sounded crazy but interesting.
Conversations Are King, Admin Is A Distraction
It’s been my experience in interactions with thousands of advisors that with all their inadequacies, advisors are generally pretty good at interacting with clients. Watching advisors excel in client conversations has led me to a fundamental truth about financial advisors: the highest value an advisor can offer lies in direct interactions with clients. It’s in these meetings that behavior change is influenced, impact is made, and referral-worthy relationships are forged.
The more we engage, the more profound our influence and the more we achieve.
It dawned on us during our conversation that perhaps we’ve overcomplicated the operational side of advice delivery. The traditional process is layered and intricate, involving numerous steps from gathering information to implementing and monitoring plans. This complexity, though, might not be necessary to make a meaningful impact.
The Future: A Financial Guide with Vitals
Envision a future where financial planning is stripped down to its essence. Picture a financial guide, not bogged down by prescriptive recommendations, but instead focusing on guiding clients towards positive outcomes. Imagine replacing the cumbersome planning process with a straightforward set of financial vitals, nudging clients towards actionable change.
The traditional planning model, with its myriad of steps and software integrations, often results in a complex delivery system. But does it have to be this way? The advice we dispense is, more often than not, simple and behavior-focused. Why not mirror this simplicity in our approach?
This is where Elements could shift the paradigm. It offers a set of financial vitals – a tool so potent yet straightforward that it could redefine the way we offer advice. By focusing on these vitals, advisors can deliver impactful and meaningful guidance without the clutter of traditional processes.
The Road Ahead
As we look forward to a future that embraces efficiency and effectiveness, let’s ponder this: What if all we needed were a clear set of financial vitals and the intent to drive real change? This vision for the future of financial advice isn’t just intriguing – it’s a path toward a more profound impact on our society.