Wealth management training appears to be growing in popularity as evidenced by a new portal from Blue Duck Wealth Management.

This month, Blue Duck launched a feature that gives financial advisors improved access to the resources on its platform. It builds on the firm’s existing offerings, which are differentiated by their focus on collaboration, values and coaching, the firm says.

Based in Georgia, Blue Duck provides its member advisors training options, educational offerings, case design and mentoring. It also makes these interactions more convenient and corrects earlier awkwardness, the firm says.

The new portal started being offered this month – and is tagged onto the existing Blue Duck Wealth Management website, and it was launched relatively shortly after the registered investment advisor began its operations. Advisors say they built the Blue Duck platform knowing what other advisors were looking for in resources.

Overall, Blue Duck stresses how it provides advisors a collaborative relationship with a lot of mentoring opportunities, so each advisor and investment advisory representative can be helped in developing a “balanced practice” and can reach their “full potential,” according to Frank Akridge, Jr., president of Blue Duck Wealth Management.  

With his 17 years of experience in financial planning, including work in the compliance sector, and a graduate school degree in education, Akridge says that Blue Duck strives “to provide all the marketing, back office, compliance, and business development support an advisor needs while eliminating the traditional greed and insecurity found in most IAR/RIA relationships.”

The platform also brings together financial advisors “who share the same moral vision towards building their practice,” the firm said.

“We are a fairly young retail RIA – 18 months – created to provide a financial planning platform for independent advisors,” Akridge explained.

Jamie Hopkins, who is a professor at The American College of Financial Services (ACFS), explained that such offerings come as “there is a huge trend right now towards wealth management.” Also, the ACFS itself rolled out a new wealth management education program in December, the Wealth Management Certified Professional.

“As such, it is not a surprise that RIA firms that specialize in wealth management are offering platforms to their advisors that support networking, training and connections,” Hopkins said. “It looks like Blue Duck Wealth Management is joining the large number of RIAs offering special advisor platforms to encourage a community feel, networking and education.”

Still, he notes that “firms tend to like to mix outside training and education with their own custom training and platforms.”

As for investment startegy, Akridge said, “We only use third-party money managers and do not allow alternative investments. We want advisors to be advisors, not money managers. We, as a team, believe alternative investments are a commission-based product and thus fit better in the broker-dealer world.”

Moreover, the platform addresses current issues, such as those related to Department of Labor regulations, and provides “a platform for quick-case design questions and ideas,” Akridge said. He adds that advisors can use the platform to collaborate with Blue Duck specialists and each other, and is an economical way to get training and lets advisors learn conveniently on their own schedule.

Specifically, the site provides training on investing, retirement options, financial planning, as well as mentoring, marketing strategies, lead generation tools, and access to supported vendors. “Each of those essentially have their own section in the website that we can update daily if needed,” Akridge said.

Advisors also can view their compensation, assets under management, and billing reports.

Among the investing and marketing tools found on Blue Duck’s website are:

  • HCM-BuyLine, which is an indicator that signals when to be in or out of equity markets.
  • 401(k) Optimizer, which automates 401(k) allocations.
  • MyFedLife, which lets government employees better understand their retirement benefits.
  • And the Optimized Advisor, an alliance which provides niche marketing campaigns for advisors.

Hopkins, who is a professor at The American College of Financial Services, explained that such offerings come as “there is a huge trend right now towards wealth management.”

“As such, it is not a surprise that RIA firms that specialize in wealth management are offering platforms to their advisors that support networking, training and connections,” Hopkins said. “It looks like Blue Duck Wealth Management is joining the large number of RIAs offering special advisor platforms to encourage a community feel, networking and education.”