Are you a millennial who is ready to talk to a Financial Advisor? Are you confused where to start?
Choosing a Financial Advisor in Evansville, IN can be a confusing process. That’s because the area, like many other cities, is dotted with a mixture of banks, investment brokerage houses, and insurance companies all offering “financial advisory” services. This is good from a consumer choice perspective, but the subtle distinctions between the offerings of each firm might leave consumers with unique circumstances unsure of their best options. For example, where should a particular type of consumer, say a white-collar millennial with no assets and a ton of debt go?
Understanding the financial advising landscape and why millennials typically need someone different than their parents’ Financial Advisor
First, here is information on the type of Financial Advisors you are probably used to.
Generally, most banks will have access to commission-based brokers and investment advisors for banking clients. Likewise, many insurance companies (like New York Life and Northwestern Mutual) offer their clients access to financial advisory services. There are also many brokerages like Edward Jones with many branches throughout the region typically run by a senior advisor similar to (but not exactly like) a franchise model. These are highly-visible firms that work with thousands of clients in the region. But there’s another kind of firm, though admittedly a less visible kind; the independent Registered Investment Advisor.
Second, let’s review another option for a Financial Advisor.
The independent Registered Investment Advisor is different than commission-based brokers in a few ways. To begin, independent Registered Investment Advisors traditionally cater to much lower volumes of clients since they are independent. It benefits independent Registered Investment Advisors to specialize in the goals and needs of particular niches, since they cannot compete with the high volume of more traditional investment firms. For example, many Registered Investment Advisors have a focus on high-net-worth retirees, or families with special needs, or millennials.
My own firm, uVest Advisory Group, is an independent Registered Investment Advisor. Our value proposition to clients is high-touch, highly individualized service. Our niche focus is on financial planning for professional and entrepreneurial millennials in Evansville and nationally; think young doctors, lawyers, accountants, bank employees, and others in the services industry. Additionally, how I am compensated differs from how commission-based brokers are paid.
Understanding the differences in how the two types of Financial Advisors and are compensated
Financial advisors are compensated in a variety of ways. The most typical style of compensation that you will find in our city is the commission-based brokerage and insurance firms versus the assets based independent Registered Investment Advisors — sometimes referred to as “fee-only” firms.
Commission-based brokerages and insurance firms are generally compensated through:
- Sales of investment products
- Insurance policies
- Life insurance
- Mutual funds
Assets based “fee-only” Registered Investment Advisors are typically compensated through:
- A percentage of the assets they manage for the client, typically around 1% of the assets they manage (e.g. $1,000/yr to manage a $100,000 portfolio).
- Hourly services
More about uVest Advisory Group’s compensation structure
uVest Advisory Group charges a percentage of assets (starting at .85%) for some of our clients who simply want us to manage their investments. However, many of our clients are white-collar millennials who may not have enough assets to manage quite yet, so we also provide financial planning services for a flat monthly retainer/subscription fee. We want to make financial advice accessible to our people (I myself am a millennial), at a fair price, without the requirement that our clients or potential clients already need a to have built up a ton of wealth.
Approachable and transparent financial advising services
At uVest Advisory Group, our services cater to the goals and concerns of our clients, not typically the general population. Our clients typically come to us looking for a neutral 3rd party assessment of their situation, and the patience required to maintain frequent contact with them while they implement any desired changes in their situation. While we typically reach our monthly or quarterly (depending on the need), it’s not unusual for uVest to follow up with our clients on a weekly basis while we get a new budget in place or restructure consumer or student loan debt. Our clients are seeking financial advice with a fiduciary obligation for a completely transparent fee. Our services include:
- Debt management
- Student loan management
- Preferred access to tax prep and filing services
- Company benefits optimization
- Business consulting
We also offer a robust digital financial platform for tracking and projecting wealth and expenses. And while we are happy to advise around the complexities of insurance policies, which might best meet a client’s hypothetical needs, we do not conduct insurance or investment product sales of any kind simply because that’s not why our client’s come to us.
Financial advising is not a one-size-fits-all industry.
The take away here is this; there are many competent Financial Advisors in Evansville, IN providing quality services to thousands of citizens. But if you are a particular type of client, with unique needs, some of those advisors may not find it economically feasible to provide you with the types of services you are looking for. If this sounds familiar to you, you should seek about an independent Registered Investment Advisor who specializes in your unique needs.
Erik Goodge is the President of uVest Advisory Group. He holds a B.S. in Economics and Cognitive Science from the The University of Evansville. Erik is a Marine Corps veteran of the Afghanistan campaign and Purple Heart recipient. He is from Evansville, Indiana and currently lives in near-by Newburgh with his wife and daughter.