When we first started talking about the idea that would grow into Boulevard R in June of 2005, we saw ourselves as a consumer facing site. We recognized that the majority of Americans didn’t have access to affordable, independent advice and set out to fix that.
We’ve now come to the realization that we can’t do this alone. We need to partner with others to help us realize our mission of delivering unbiased, actionable advice. The answer was right under our noses: independent financial planners who act as fiduciaries and in the best interests of their clients. Many independent planners and advisors recognize that their industry has a moral imperative to serve all Americans, but their business models typically either force them to serve only the wealthy or work on an hourly basis at $100-$250/hour, which still leaves a lot of folks without access to advice.
What I told the reporter from the NY Times who called this afternoon and what will be announced in a Morningstar article that comes out next Thursday is that Boulevard R is shifting business models. We’re moving from B2C to B2B by providing independent planners and advisors with an Advisor Branded Marketing Platform that will be white-labeled for them.
Our goal is to help advisors bring in more prospects, especially since Americans are demanding more independent advice in the wake of the financial crisis, as well as be able to engage all those who are not yet qualified to become prospects and be able to serve them once they do reach the advisor’s minimum limit.
In essence, we want to help independents automate a lot of their marketing efforts through leveraging existing clients and prospects with online tools, as well as providing them ways to target prospects through online search, online advertising and collateral designed to attract consumers to their profile page. What Boulevard R gets in return is to realize our mission of serving all Americans by having advisors and planners distribute what we’ve created. Win-win.
Of course, all existing users will still be able to log into their Dashboard and get value from it as we continue to add content and evolve the platform.
So check back here next Thursday and you’ll see a new homepage and a much more detailed explanation of Boulevard R’s new direction.