They say necessity is the mother of invention, and that was the case for Adam Holt, CEO and founder of Asset-Map, who developed a visual map that put all of a client’s financial information on one page.

For 20 years he worked as a financial advisor and saw that people just weren’t organized with their financial information. “I realized that most people collect financial baggage. It’s not unlike our own wardrobes,” he told ThinkAdvisor.

He began doing this online mapping for his own clients and found that “our clients wanted the Asset-Map religiously … and we used it as a keystone for our discussions. It actually took over for all our planning tools,” he explained.

Asset-Map, which in October announced a strategic integration with PIEtech, Inc., was launched in 2012 as more than a product that Holt used for his clients. Holt says, “I brought it to a best practices meeting (of the advisory firm he worked for), and 20 other advisors said they did the same thing on paper or on Excel, and they wanted what I had.” Today, 95% of his time is devoted to Asset-Map, which has 3,500 advisors and 350,000 households.

Asset-Map has a one-page look at a household’s assets, liabilities, insurance and goals, and costs roughly $1,500 per advisor, depending on firm discounts.

“[Advisors] know clients feel overwhelmed and don’t always know where [financial information] is, so with Asset-Map they can get organized,” Holt said. “This way advisors can compete with robos … they can be more human and [help clients] make better decisions.”

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