Here at Planswell HQ, we talk to a lot of financial advisors. Many of them come into these conversations with assumptions about Planswell that they’re making based on experiences they’ve had with other companies.
The thing is, Planswell isn’t like other companies. We’re in a league of our own in terms of the services and support we provide to our partners. We often hear Planswell is a “no brainer”—and that’s precisely what we’re going for. We’ve built our service model around what we would want as advisors.
In this article, we’ll clear up a few things. We hope Planswell is the solution you’ve been looking for; for thousands of advisors, it already is.
“I can’t work with Planswell because I’m a captive agent.”
You’re a captive agent? Perfect.
In the US, a third of Planswell partners work for one of the big dogs. Without naming names (our anti-doxing policy means we never share where our partners work), we can tell you that you’ve heard of these companies. They’re household names.
In Canada, it’s 45%. Why is this? Word travels fast among colleagues when they find something that works for them. Worth noting: our partnerships are always at the advisor level. We want to work with the “boots on the ground” in areas where we have consumer demand, so we don’t typically approach corporate headquarters.
Of course, we also work with thousands of small, independent mom-and-pop shops. Anyone who has the capacity to serve more clients is our ideal partner.
2. “I’m not allowed to sell Planswell products.”
Okie doke. We trust you to serve your clients in their best interest, including when it comes to product recommendations. You will be best equipped to steer them in the right direction.
Our goal is to help more households gain access to financial advice that will help them maintain their lifestyles into the future. Even with a solid plan, they often need the right products to implement them. That’s where you come in — you’re the expert, after all.
For example, your Planswell households may need investment solutions. They most certainly need life insurance. Nearly 100% of households are grossly underinsured. Like the prospective clients you meet through other channels, you have solutions they haven’t considered. Again, that’s your expertise, and we’re grateful when you bring that to Planswell users in your community.
3. “Planswell households probably exaggerate their AUM.”
Sure, we all know people who love to brag to their friends about how much money they have. We’ve found, however, that more often than not, our households actually underreport their AUM.
One reason for this is that we only require estimations during the initial discovery, and folks sometimes forget to include things like inheritance, rental income, old 401k accounts, etc.
This means that, even if a household seems like it may not be worth your time to call, there could be gold in them there hills. In fact, Planswell legend Andy Cosby recalls a household he almost didn’t call because they only listed $100,000 of investable assets on their form. He ended up calling just in case and closed a household with over $1 million in AUM.
4. “Partners are required to use Planswell’s software.”
Planswell’s software is intuitive and easy to use, and the partners who use it love it. We’ve invested over $15 million to build it, and it shows. It’s both simple and complex at the same time — it does complex calculations instantaneously, yet presents a financial analysis that’s quite simple to understand.
Have you ever noticed our wonderful illustrated creatures used throughout the discovery journey? You may have assumed they are there as a branding exercise (another misconception!). In fact, they were created with the goal of making financial planning as easy to understand as a children’s book. Our planning engine was designed with intentionality that’s unparalleled in the industry. (Shout out to our dev team — looking at you, Craig and Shaun!)
Partners especially love the unique referral link. They can easily share it (we even make it available as a QR code) so their clients and prospects can go through the same quick and easy discovery process as our households. That’s right — you don’t need to chase down clients and go back and forth for days to get everything you need to build them a financial plan. And you don’t need to spend time building their financial plan. Poof! It’s ready instantly.
Are you sitting down? There’s more. Our software and unique referral link are available to every advisor free of charge. You don’t even need to use Planswell for lead generation. It’s our service to humanity.
Not a big fan of technology? Nervous about a learning curve? No problem. If you already have your own system that works for you, you can easily export client data and import it into your own system. Remember when I said we work with a lot of captive agents? Of course they’re required to use their company’s system. We make that easy for them.
For those who want to use Planswell software — woo hoo! We’re happy to hold your hand as you get acclimated. We host regular live training sessions and provide detailed how-to videos in our library of content known as “AdvisorHQ.” The software is intuitive, but your time is very valuable. We’re all about going the extra mile to get you performing at top speed as soon as possible.
5. “Planswell’s financial plan is competitive to me.”
Look, we know everyone is worried about being replaced by AI these days, but that’s not what we’re after. We know the value advisors bring to the table. Planswell does not replace the need for real life, human financial advisors.
We accepted a hard truth long ago: most people need a hand to hold when it comes to their finances. They need someone whom they can trust to break it down for them. As great as our software is, it can’t be the coach in their corner.
When Planswell first emerged as a brand in personal finance years ago, the original concept was self-service. Many hard lessons were learned along the way. After deep analysis, Planswell 2.0 launched and leveraged the platform’s strengths and, more importantly, the missing link: human advisors. Here we are today, partnering with established advisors.
It’s likely you’ll see areas where the plans we provide to our households could be amended after your conversations with them and your deeper understanding of their situation. Additionally, having a plan is all well and good, but if you can’t actually implement it, it’s about as good as a new year’s resolution to start going to the gym…next week. This is another area where your value as an advisor shines: you can actually help households implement their financial plans and get the necessary solutions in place.
At the end of the day, Planswell is the only platform on the market where advisors can call a household having already seen a comprehensive financial plan and make specific recommendations for how they could retire sooner or increase the value of retirement accounts by hundreds of thousands of dollars. That’s a great look for you as an advisor.
6. “Planswell only works with advisors in Canada.”
False. Planswell works with advisors all over North America. Our households, too, come from across North America, though we only assign households to advisors within their state or province.
What’s more, we match demand with the appropriate number of advisors in each state or province. For us, that means each and every household we serve has the opportunity to speak with a local expert, and our dedicated partners have a reliable pipeline of new business. For you, that means you should get in while the getting is good.
7. “Planswell doesn’t work for fee-based advisors.”
Sure we do. In fact, about ⅓ of Planswell partner advisors are fee-based. Planswell’s system works great for fee-based advisors because we capture folks at the exact moment they have questions about their finances.
This means, as an advisor, you get to speak to local folks with personal finance on their minds. Why not skip prospecting all together and engage with households who already have questions you’re well-prepared to answer?
We like to think of it as the client acquisition equivalent of getting the FastPass at Disney — skip the line and get right to the fun part: the ride!
8. “I’ll have to beat multiple advisors to the phone.”
Wrong-o, bucko. That’s a bad experience for everyone involved. Our households don’t want their phones ringing off the hook any more than you want to be on the other end of that. Imagine being the sixth or seventh advisor to call in a matter of minutes? That call isn’t going to go well no matter how charming you are. All of our households are EXCLUSIVELY assigned to one advisor only. As a Planswell partner, you can be assured that, when you call one of our households, you’re the only advisor who will be doing so. That dramatically improves your chances of speaking to someone who’s receptive to what you have to offer.
9. “Planswell will probably under-deliver.”
When you sign up with Planswell, we guarantee you will be assigned the number of households associated with your subscription tier. So, whether you’re ready to handle 10, 20, or even 50 new prospects in your pipeline per month, there’s a Planswell subscription tier that will work for you.
What’s more, Planswell assigns households to partner advisors in real time as they come in. That means you’ll have new households added to your queue as they sign up over the course of the month. As far as we know, no other platform will guarantee the number of opportunities an advisor will have access to in a month, and with Planswell, that number is much more likely to be underestimated.
That’s right: we’ll keep sending you households as they come in even after you’ve met the quota for your subscription tier at no additional charge. At the end of the day, what we want is for every household to have the opportunity to speak to an expert like you.
10. “Planswell will take a cut of my revenue.”
Ew, no. Whether you use Planswell for free or pay for one of our subscription tiers, our job is to connect households seeking financial advice with experts who can help them (that’s you!). Once the matchmaking is complete, our job is done. We’ll never ask you for a cut of the income you make through Planswell households because, once you close a household, they’re your client now.
11. “Planswell sells lead lists.”
If you’ve ever invested in a leads list, I offer my condolences. If you're like other advisors who’ve made the same mistake, you abandoned the effort before even dialing through the entire list. Was it painfully obvious the list had already been picked clean by other advisors? Did you have any idea where the names came from in the first place? Uffda. I’m sorry you went through that. An old-fashioned free phone book would have been more helpful.
You will never receive a list of leads from Planswell. Our households are delivered to you at the exact moment they’ve turned to us with their financial questions. They (and you!) have received a copy of their comprehensive financial plan from Planswell. You can call them while they’re looking at it. We know they’re invested in the output because they’ve SMS-validated their phone number in order to receive it.
12. “Planswell is for advisors new to the industry.”
A factoid that may surprise you:over 50% of Planswell partners have been working in the industry over 10 years.
Many of us had the preconceived notion that a financial planning practice is like a snowball; it would just grow organically as it gets rollin’. If that hasn’t quite happened in your business, have no shame. Growing a business is a grind.
I suspect more experienced advisors value their time more than the juniors. They know what their skillset is, and — spoiler alert — it’s usually not marketing. If you’re spinning your wheels and are underwhelmed by your traction, it’s time to give Planswell a look.
Here’s the secret our partners already know: they get to skip prospecting entirely to focus on closing deals and servicing clients.
13. "Planswell is an IMO/FMO"
We’re actually not! While we do work closely with many FMO/IMOs, we don’t actually offer any financial products. So, while we do provide our partners with a pipeline of qualified households, we don’t have any input as to what products you recommend to those households or which organizations you use to write those products.
Our FMO/IMO friends use Planswell a little differently. We developed an advanced feature (“Supervisor Accounts”) which allows these groups to collaborate with each other in an elevated way. We roll out the red carpet for FMOs/IMOs in other ways too, such as private group coaching and VIP support.
Our goal is merely to connect more households with excellent financial advice, and we trust our partners to make whichever recommendations they think best to the households we provide.
14. “Planswell is risky.”
Not really. You can partner with us for as long (or as little) as it makes sense for you to do so. Although advisors are not contractually locked in with us for a set period of time, we do recommend they commit to our system for at least three months. Our data shows it takes about that long for our partners to catch their stride.
You can even test the Planswell waters completely free. We’ll be happy to set you up with a free account. You can use the software, dive into our resources in AdvisorHQ, attend training sessions, and even call a couple households to get a feel for the process. We’re so confident in our platform that we’re willing to hand over the keys to the kingdom at no cost. Once you experience it, we’re pretty sure you’ll want to get more involved via a subscription.
You will be able to adjust your subscription as you please: scale it up, scale it down, pause it for a couple months — whatever you need. We know that business (and life, for that matter) ebbs and flows. You won’t always have the bandwidth to take on new clients. When you can, we want to be your first call.