The Evolution of Financial Advice: From Transactional to Personalized

Derek Notman |


In the dynamic landscape of financial planning, the approach to providing advice has evolved over the years, reflecting changing priorities and a deeper understanding of client needs. Let's explore the three distinct versions of financial advice – 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0 – and how they have shaped the industry. And what our team at Intrepid Wealth Partners is doing to provide this new era of advice to you. 

Financial Advice 1.0: The Transactional Era

The inception of financial advice can be traced back to a transactional model. Financial Advice 1.0 was characterized by a focus on individual transactions, where advisors primarily facilitated the buying and selling of financial products. The emphasis was on transactions rather than relationships, and the success of the advisor was often measured by the volume of transactions and commissions earned. 

The lack of the internet to provide the general public with knowledge of financial concepts and products allowed many clients to simply trust what they were being told by their professional. And although there were many great and ethical advisors in this era, it ultimately led to many clients getting taken advantage of due to their lack of accessible information. 

Although somewhat comical, the “Wolf of Wall Street” memes often come to mind for people reflecting on this era. 

While this approach addressed immediate financial needs, it lacked a comprehensive understanding of clients' long-term goals and aspirations. The transactional nature of Financial Advice 1.0 left clients with a series of isolated financial decisions rather than a cohesive strategy for their financial future.

Financial Advice 2.0: Goal-Driven Financial Planning

Recognizing the limitations of the transactional model, Financial Advice 2.0 emerged as a response to the growing importance of goal-oriented planning. Advisors began to shift their focus from individual transactions to the creation of holistic financial plans tailored to clients' specific goals. This occurred around the turn of the century, where the internet and other resources allowed the general public to obtain knowledge they would have otherwise not had access to previously.

Financial Advice 2.0 is characterized by a more comprehensive and strategic approach. Advisors work collaboratively with clients to identify their financial objectives, whether it's buying a home, funding education, or retiring comfortably. This version emphasizes the importance of understanding a client's entire financial picture and crafting a plan that aligns with their unique aspirations.

A key component of this era was the rise of technology to help streamline and explain advanced financial plans to clients. What followed was amazing technology that allowed advisors to better serve their clients. With this enhanced technology, however, came some drawbacks. Specifically, it created a reliance from the advisor to communicate to their clients through the technology. If you've ever been with a financial advisor that goes through the whole meeting but just explaining your plan through the specific technology they used to develop the plan, you know what I mean. The end result was clients receiving next level financial planning that aligned with their specific goals, but creating a lack of human touch that many people desired.

The goal-driven model brings a sense of purpose to financial planning, helping clients see the bigger picture and navigate their financial journey with clarity and confidence. While an improvement from the transactional era, Financial Advice 2.0 still primarily revolves around numbers and objectives, leaving a gap in understanding the emotional and personal dimensions of financial decision-making. This is especially important for those with complex needs such as business owners and high net worth individuals who are seeking to ensure their hard work that created their wealth would be passed on for generations to come. 

Financial Advice 3.0: The Personalized, Emotional Connection

In the ever-evolving landscape of financial advice, we find ourselves in the era of Financial Advice 3.0 – an era that transcends numbers and charts to focus on the individual behind the financial plan. Financial Advice 3.0 is characterized by a profound understanding of clients on an emotional and personal level.

The evolution of the technology created and founded in the previous era, along with additional industry disruptors such as robo advisors, has created a rift between technology and individual advisors. In today's era, the consumer has a vast database of information to research almost anything they need, along with low cost options available by many major firms. Artificial intelligence is yet another disruptor that is already making people question how financial advice will be delivered now and into the future.

With this new era, many people are wondering if human advisors are going to be obsolete in the near future. At Intrepid Wealth Partners, we believe this new era of financial advice actually creates more opportunities for deeper relationships, and true values based financial plans, when correctly partnered with robust technology. 

Advisors practicing Financial Advice 3.0 go beyond traditional financial planning. They take the time to truly know their clients, understanding their values, beliefs, and life experiences. This depth of knowledge allows advisors to tailor financial plans that not only meet clients' goals but also align with their core values and aspirations.

The personalized, emotional connection in Financial Advice 3.0 is a game-changer. It acknowledges that financial decisions are not made in a vacuum but are deeply influenced by personal experiences and emotions. By integrating this understanding into the planning process, advisors can provide a level of support that goes beyond the traditional advisor-client relationship.

The team at Intrepid Wealth Partners is one of the pioneering firms in the industry to fully adopt this new era of financial advice. We are firm believers that technology should complement the process, not overtake it. By partnering our robust technology with a Certified Financial Planner from our team, we have the ability to create a fully integrated financial plan that you know is 100% aligned with what matters most to you. 

Because, at the end of the day, any type of account, financial product or plan is just a tool to better serve you and what matters most. You matter more than just a number on a piece of paper explaining your odds of successfully accomplishing a goal.  Our mantra at IWP is to help you achieve your goals and dreams today and into the future and we believe that financial advice 3.0 is the best way to do that. 

If you have read this far and are thinking to yourself, “I have never been through a process like what was explained in version 3.0”, I encourage you to visit our website at to learn more about our process, services and pricing. 

If you fit into the profile of who we work with best, we would love to sit down with you for an introductory call. We promise that this will shine more light on exactly how we do what we do and let us learn more about you. You can schedule an appointment directly using this link,