Stupid Marketing Tricks

Recently I received a financial services industry magazine email that really made me mad. Perhaps I should temper my response, but I am very interested in what you think. (By the way, this post will not garner me any product ads popping up alongside either.)

Here is the phrase that really got to me: (brand names withheld)

[Our] …”offering is addressing the needs of other advisors, transitioning middle-market clients to XXXXX so those advisors can focus on their more profitable, high-net-worth clients.”

This is where I part company with some other parts of the financial services business.

In a world where “serious people” debate whether the middle-class/middle market begins at $200,000 annual income or not, I am not surprised at this email’s sentiments , just disappointed.

To be fair, this marketing email came from an industry publication, not another financial planner, or CFP(R) . And also to be fair, I’d say a majority of the people in my business do like to help their clients and have a passion for problem-solving in the financial and personal finance arena.

For me, this business is not about sorting clients to see who is “most profitable”.

It is about sorting through the myriad of choices and “assumption of risk” that we all face every day. Helping people understand the ‘why’, as well as the ‘how’ and the ‘what’ of saving and investing.

In the last 45 years, we have seen the introduction of new ways to save, spend, share and invest. Just because it is new and shiny doesn’t mean you need it. Plus you have simultaneously been asked to assume the risk (oops-I mean the opportunity to exercise more choices on your own) of saving for your own retirement and financial future.

Advice should be available via online services, print and visual materials, and yes, even from live humans like myself to all people. Not only  to people who think a $200,000 annual income is ‘middle-class‘, or that the ‘middle-market’ is unprofitable.

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