“2017 will be without a doubt a year of significant change. Uncertainty, political change at home and abroad, advancing technology and a changing economy, and other factors will keep markets on their toes. The result will be a year of potential risks and opportunities for your money,” Sharma says.
According to Sharma, the key to navigating the year ahead will be sound financial planning, which begins with what should be one of your most trusted relationships outside of friends and family - your financial advisor.
Finding an advisor makes it onto many lists of New Year's resolutions, but many quickly find the process daunting, typically involving endless Google searches, hard to understand jargon and hit-and-miss referrals from family and friends.
A New Way
Sharma’s company, GuideVine, is the first modern platform for matching consumers with financial advisors based on their unique lifestyle and financial goals. “This was a process that was begging to be modernized and brought into the 21st century,” he says.
Originally targeted for high earning investors, GuideVine’s unique and personal approach to “financial matchmaking” has quickly caught on with consumers of all ages and financial status, as well as with advisors across specialities ranging from wealth management to retirement planning, all the way to family offices.
What makes GuideVine different is its ability to match consumers and financial advisors in a smarter, personalized, and more transparent way.
In keeping with this premise, GuideVine offers three methods for finding a financial advisor: investors can browse advisor profiles at their leisure, use the platform’s questionnaire and matching algorithm to find matched advisors, or they can book a GuideVine Concierge, a free offering where members of the GuideVine team walk them through the process of finding a financial advisor on the platform.
Users can quickly “interview” potential advisors through exclusive intro videos, personal bios and feedback from other GuideVine users. The videos are one of Sharma’s favorite features: “I have personally had many in-person meetings with potential financial advisors where I knew in less than 5 minutes that we weren’t a match. Our advisor videos avoid so much wasted time on fruitless in-person meetings, a user can screen a number of advisors in a few hours that would have taken weeks or longer the ‘traditional’ way.”
But what really sets GuideVine apart from any other alternative is the diversity of advisors on the platform and the ability to find exactly the right advisor for any individual, regardless of their goals, lifestyles, and values. “There are advisors who specialize in financial planning for LGBT couples, and are LGBT themselves. Concerned about the environment? Find a financial advisor that shares your concerns and will build your portfolio accordingly. Our platform makes the process incredibly easy,” Sharma says.
Of course, GuideVine has already done its own screening on all of the several hundred advisors now on the platform: to get on the platform advisors have to be a fiduciary registered with the SEC or a State, meet size and experience minimums plus clear a regulatory, criminal and civil background check.
And the best part? There is absolutely no cost to consumers.
“GuideVine is completely free to use. It’s a new year, and it’s time to try a new, better way of finding a financial advisor,” Sharma says.
GuideVine is an online financial advisor discovery platform, built for the evolving digital/social world in which consumers and financial advisors live. The complimentary GuideVine investor matching service, available since March 2014, gives consumers a better way to find the right advisor. GuideVine has already amassed over 250 advisors across the U.S. representing over $50B in assets under management. The founders are former McKinsey & Co. consultants and software entrepreneurs, with extensive experience in financial services, investment banking and retail. For more information, visit www.guidevine.com