February 19, 2013

Nerd Power! New Online Tool Connects Advisors With Tech-Savvy Clients

NerdWallet’s new platform takes a successful consumer model to the advisor space

They’re nerds and proud of it.

Tim Chen and Jake Gibson had an idea to help consumers filter the “overwhelming” amount of financial information on the internet. In 2009, the duo founded NerdWallet, an online tool to do just that.

Evaluating everything from credit cards to travel to college saving and more, Chen and Gibson hype their nerd status as one reason to trust their recommendations.

“We think of ourselves as the first .org recommendation site—we never sacrifice user welfare in the name of profits,” the company claims on its website, in true fight-the-power/always-on-the-outside nerd fashion.

NerdWallet is now entering the advisor space with a new tool to help the public evaluate and hire financial professionals. Its Ask an Advisor platform, launched on Tuesday, enables advisors to “not only provide information to prospective clients, but to truly build trust.”

“We want to help get people over the hump of selecting a financial advisor they trust, the basis of a successful client-advisor relationship,” Shiyan Koh, vice president of personal financial management at NerdWallet, said in a statement. “The NerdWallet Ask an Advisor platform supplements the search process with a Q&A section where advisors can demonstrate their expertise on client-specific needs, as well as short videos that enable advisors to talk directly to prospective clients and showcase why people should work with them.”

The Ask an Advisor platform enables advisors to build trust with prospective clients in all three dimensions:

  • Knowledge–Answer a set of curated personal finance questions
  • Ethics–Display latest regulatory standing on profile
  • Empathy–Talk directly to prospective clients via short videos

Consumers can streamline their search for an appropriate financial advisor by using the NerdWallet Ask an Advisor platform to:

  • Easily verify the credentials and areas of focus of potential advisors in one place
  • “Meet” and evaluate advisors through videos of each discussing key topics
  • Receive answers to their most pressing financial questions
  • Quickly request free consultations from advisors on their short-list 

“The platform was created in response to an overwhelming need for a tool that helps consumers easily connect with the advisors who can best understand their unique personal financial situations,” Koh added. “As investors ourselves, we know the importance of trust in a client-advisor relationship. Building this trust, however, can often require hours of research and meetings. With this challenge in mind, we created a web-based resource to help people efficiently and confidently explore the world of financial advice.” 

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