Looking back at 22 years of being in the financial advisory industry, the takeaway from my corporate experience working for banks, brokerage shops and wire-houses is this: Customers who need financial assistance the most do not receive the attention and guidance they deserve. Truth is, most Americans do not have an investment portfolio, let alone a portfolio that meets the industry’s minimum asset balance threshold. The majority need help with cash flow management, debt management, and retirement planning, but these same customers end up encountering financial advisors who are in the business of selling commission based products or managing existing wealth of the top quartile. Try getting the attention of a high quality financial advisor when you have nothing to invest.
Financial planning may lead to the recommendation of an investment or an insurance product, but attempting to lead with the product as a panacea for all problems or a one size fits all solution is a very common industry practice that I was not comfortable engaging in.