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Financial advisors on demand

Many people who invest in the stock market or other investments will either work with a financial advisor or handle it themselves through online platforms. But where can you turn when you want to ask a question about a specific financial issue, or you need a second opinion on an investment option? It’s not always practical or affordable to speak to a financial advisor on a one-off basis. That’s where Tradvice can potentially meet your needs. This app enables you to get answers to financial questions within 24 hours from registered financial advisors for a flat, one-time fee with no contract or commitment.

 

Background

About two years ago, Daniel Hey and Sterling Benkhart discovered that they had the same issue. The two high school friends were enrolled in different college programs, and were both interested in finance and investing. They each tried getting ad hoc advice from various financial advisors on different financial questions, such as stock trades. However, both were repeatedly turned down given the lack of financial incentive for the advisors to provide them with advice.

“Although I was disappointed, I understood their motivation for not being able to help,” said Hey. “They had spent enormous personal resources gaining education and experience in the field, so you can’t expect them to work for free. This manifests in a broader lack of incentive for advisors to work on smaller accounts.”

traquote 400x275The two friends noted that there was general demand for ad hoc professional advice from other millennials, and consumers in general. Financial advisors are generally hesitant to provide this type of advice in this format, which keeps people from being able to readily access the financial services industry. Most financial professionals require contractual agreements and account minimums from clients to provide financial advice. Hey and Benkhart felt that there had to be a way to enable people to get the professional help they needed, while solving the incentive problem for advisors.

“We view these restrictions as artificial and posing unnecessary barriers to everyday consumers, especially Millennials,” said Benkhart. “Those who don’t meet minimum account requirements, or don't want to enter into a formal arrangement, seem to be left out to dry.”

Bringing advisors and clients together

Hey and Benkhart developed the proprietary platform for Tradvice based on the concept of the sharing economy – connecting a group of people who had a need (e.g., financial advice) with people who had a resource (i.e., financial expertise and experience). Their initial goal was to empower young people to invest in various financial instruments by helping them get the required guidance and education from accredited professionals. The app was initially focused on providing direction on trading stocks, cryptocurrency, and bonds. The founders noticed that peers were having problems with understanding their personal finances (e.g., student loans), so they expanded Tradvice’s scope to asking any kind of financial question, such as basic fundamental analysis of a company, interest rate on loans, portfolio optimization, real estate investing, and so on.

Tradvice’s users can see an advisor’s credentials before asking a question, so they can choose an advisor who has relevant specializations for the question being asked. All questions must be answered within 24 hours, with the time set by the user – you can even get an answer within a minute in some cases. This creates the “on demand” aspect of the app and allows users to get timely responses to their questions, which can be very important in day trading. Anyone who wants financial advice can sign up for an account at no charge. It costs from $5 to $25 to have questions answered, with no contractual or other commitments.

iphoneshot200x500“Our app makes high quality financial advice available to everyone, not just those who can afford the minimum account requirements,” said Hey. “ This means users are able to manage their own financial situation without being tied to an advisor or having their money controlled for them. They are empowered to make their own well informed decisions.”

Much like Uber, Airbnb and other sharing-driven businesses, Tradvice enables accredited financial advisors to share their knowledge to earn extra income in their spare time. Financial advisors can monetize their expertise by providing “a la carte” guidance. They can use the resource as they wish and treat the practice of providing financial advice as a “side hustle” to their full-time job. Advisors are paid when they answer user questions, minus a commission for hosting/transaction costs. There is no charge to sign up on the platform or create an account. Advisors set their price per question, which they can change over time, which enables them to test different prices while letting the market decide the fair value of an answer.

“Furthermore, when advisors respond to users’ questions, they aren’t forming an advisor-client relationship, so advisors are free to answer questions from any person from any state,” said Benkhart. “Advisors can also mention their firm or services when answering questions and their info is also displayed to users at all times. This adds the potential for gaining clients if they’re satisfied with the service and end up seeking the advisor out for further arrangements.”

Tradvice is a seed stage company in its proof of concept phase, and the platform is fully operational open to both clients and advisors. For more information, visit: tradvice.com

 

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