Fabeetle.com is a website now in beta mode that enables consumers and Financial Advisors to interact in an online platform that takes into account some of the regulatory and compliance challenges posed by FINRA and the SEC. Today we learn more about Fabeetle.com and provide some suggested enhancements.
Fabeetle.com is a new online platform meant to bring together Financial Advisors, Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) and Consumers.
Advisors can utilize the platform as another means to build their digital presence in addition to LinkedIn.com, Twitter and company blogs. As an advisor, maintaining a digital presence could help an FA grow their business through word of mouth, establishing credentials for their areas of expertise and finally provide yet another avenue for prospective consumers to connect.
For consumers, they have the ability to search for a potential advisor who may be a good partnership by means such as location, gender, and specialty. However, the most interesting aspect of the current Fabeetle.com platform is the ability for existing advisory clients to write reviews and provide rankings of their advisors and interact via open-ended questions in a separate “answers” section.
Suggested Improvements for Fabeetle.com:
While the Fabeetle.com platform is still in beta mode, there are some clear areas for improvement:
- Improve Search Engine Optimization (‘SEO’): One of the reasons why a social media platform like LinkedIn.com is so popular for Financial Advisors and RIAs is due to the optimized and search engine friendly treatment that a profile page receives from the search engines like Google. On the otherhand, it appears that Fabeetle.com is missing technical improvements necessary to help an advisor rank well in a search engine. Some of the most obvious SEO issues include lack of a meta-description, lack of meta-keywords, and missing robots.txt to control Search-Engine access.
- Provide Community Features for centered around the Advisor: Many prospects decide to employ the services of an advisor not just on the investment products offered or even the area of expertise. In fact, for high net worth clients, additional services such as networking and exposure to new business opportunities are services and features that attract interest in a wealth management relationship (1). Fabettle.com would be more useful by enabling current clients and prospects to network, share access to financial education resources and access a sort of “networking event center” all focused on the common Advisor relationship the clients and prospects share.
- Enable Advisor Search based on type of Renumeration: As advisory relationships continue to evolve from focused on product sales to more holistic, encompassing advise-based relationship, clients should be able to search for the right advisor based on how the type of renumeration that is accepted. Advisors and firms that provide a menu of options such as time-based fees, commission-based fees, AUM-based fees or even performance-based fees are in a strong position to distinguish themselves.
While a collaboration and rating website focused on getting advisors and consumers to interact has merit on the principals of the idea, I do not see how Fabettle.com is going to get Advisors and Clients to adopt the website. The value proposition for both interested parties just does not seem strong enough given competition from all the social media sites competing for attention and from other sites such as FINRA’s BrokerCheck.
Do you think a site such as Fabettle.com can survive and fulfill a useful role in the investment management industry?
(1) Source: JP Morgan Asset Management: “The Wealth Management Report”