A decade ago, anyone who confessed to meeting their spouse on match.com would have stuck out from the crowd. Today, match.com is commonplace and a fully accepted way to meet life partners.
That’s what Peter Velardi believes will eventually happen with the financial advisory profession through FiPath for Advisors, a new and total online marketing solution that functions as a match.com for advisors by helping them leverage social media to connect with consumers.
FiPath, says Velardi, who is president and COO of the company, offers the three key elements that are fundamental to the future of the financial advisory profession: Connections, transparency and information.
“These days, more and more consumers, particularly Generation Xers, have a clear set of needs and they’re going online to get the financial information they need,” Velardi says.
Generation X controls about $12 trillion in assets, and it is a segment of the population that is actively in favor of financial advice and that wants to connect with financial advisors, Velardi says.
“Advisors that want to get new clients need to build new skills, they need to know how to connect online and to reach out to potential clients if they don’t want to be left out of things,” he says.
FiPath for Advisors helps advisors overcome these challenges in several different ways. Its member-match program connects advisors to potential clients (FiPath has an established network of 100,000 consumer members, Velardi says), and it offers a webinar platform to connect with community members. FiPath also offers collaborative forums that enable advisors to tap into their peers’ expertise, as well as opportunities for content contribution, visibility and compliance.
And FiPath also offers resources to consumers: “We educate people as to what a financial advisor does, what questions to ask an advisor and so on,” Velardi says. “We want to make sure that people are comfortable with what an advisor does.”
Ultimately, the service hooks up clients with advisors that suit what they’re looking for, and vice versa, in a way that’s optimal for both.