Cloverfeld: Modern Financial Advisor

Financial management for entrepreneurs and freelancers.

Background

Most financial advisors focus on rich people and those with a steady paycheck. The advice is all the same: save x% of your income and put them in low cost index funds. And it’s really good advice for those audiences.

As an entrepreneur and freelancer, you have a rocky income stream at best, and you start with a little money but then might have a big windfall sometime in the future.

I believed that the advice needed to be different.

I had a lot of interest in the space but didn’t have the time or focus to build the business.

I started it anyway so that I could build up the years of experience with friends and family so by the time I might focus on the business, I would have over a decade of experience.

Industry

Investment Advisory Firm

Dates

July 2015 -

How did it work out?

I managed 10 clients money, in 2 states (Ohio and Indiana), and automated a few processes. I found a great partner with Betterment.

I didn’t spend time trying to grow the business and I didn’t work with the entrepreneurs that I intended to work with.

I plan on shutting Cloverfeld down in 2020. I was spending more time and money keeping up with the regulations vs growing my business. It was also carrying more mental weight vs the good it brings me.

What did you learn

Regulations are built to serve a certain audience, and make it more difficult to innovate

Each financial planner is required to explain their investment plans to the regulators to show that its suitable.

This encourages people to follow the established investment advice and puts a higher barrier for trying something new (for better or worse).

I wanted to show people my ideas for building wealth, but that’s not right for most people

My risk profile, income, and career path as an entrepreneur is very different than most people. That’s ok, but it lends itself for me writing a book or blog on financial advice and not actually managing people’s money.

Fiduciaries are key

As an independent investment advisor, I worked as a fiduciary and was required to work in the best interests of clients.

Most of the industry doesn’t fit in this category and act as commission based salespeople. That doesn’t mean they are bad, it just doesn’t require them to be good and act in your best interest. As humans, our default is to be self-interested, so it put a bad taste in my mouth.

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