CEO Insights

Investors Need to Cut Through the Clutter

Investors need to cut through the “clutter” and avoid falling for the “next big thing” or fad investment, and instead stick to tried-and-true strategies that align with their financial goals.

The proliferation of new financial tools and investment products has diversified the market, but that increase in choice comes with a downside.

“That makes [the market] very cluttered,” said Kiah M. Jordan MSSE, CFP©, ChFC©, founder and impact strategist of Impact First Financial, LLC. “There needs to be a level of advisors that can step up, in a way, to create more transparency and remove some of the clutter and process for clients to understand what they’re getting.”

Impact First Financial, is a Santa Barbara-based firm that coordinates investment services—across legal, investments, accounting, and insurance—for families and provides asset management and investment oversight, financial coaching, and financial planning for clients. The firm also provides other support services such as social impact investing advice, Jordan said. The firm maintains a $500,000 annual income, and net assets of $10 million, minimum to invest.

Impact First Financial, does not invest money directly, but rather coordinates the attorneys, insurance brokers, and investment managers that a complex estate can employ, ensuring that all the moving parts are kept informed of investors’ goals. To do that, the firm needs to know clients’ needs and work with them to set personalized financial plans that align to their goals and, more importantly, their values.

“Money and finances are just a tool that people use to achieve other purposes,” Jordan told Advisors Magazine during a recent interview. “Engaging them around the values they have is the best way I’ve found to talk about money.”

Jordan described the wealth management industry as changing, with the old-school of approach of throwing money at financial problems fading away. The industry’s explosion of products and information also presents new challenges for investors and managers alike.

“The idea that the smarter and more expensive investment manager is the right way to go is I think going away,” he said. “People can get really overwhelmed by all of the information that’s coming in, and nobody wants to be doing it wrong.”

Clients approach financial professionals “expecting them to do what [the client] can’t do,” Jordan said. But to properly serve those clients, especially when they have multimillion dollar estates and complex finances, advisors need to put the clients’ interests first.

Impact First Financial, acts as a fiduciary for clients, meaning investor interests come before commissions. The fiduciary standard allows Impact First Financial, to tell clients that, even if the going gets tough, the firm is there to help them achieve their financial goals.

For Jordan, it all comes down to answering honestly when the client asks, “What would you do if you were me?”

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