At first glance, these three advisory firm names seem like perfectly acceptable choices: Kelly Wealth Management, Rising Tide Financial Planning, Mi Vida Financiera. Yet founding advisors rejected all three. Why?

Their dismissals are based as much as on psychology as science.

In the first case, the practice, which was going through a growth spurt, wanted a name that was not tied to the founder, Leo Kelly. In the second, the firm wanted to avoid imagery tied to climate change. And the third firm loved using Spanish in its name, but wanted to be sure the appellation would still suit the practice when new planners joined.

Picking a moniker is one of the hardest challenges for new firms, says Senior Editor Andrew Welsch, who wrote "Hardest thing RIA founders do? Name their practice."

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"It’s like trying to pick where to eat for dinner when there are six people with completely different tastes.”

“It is particularly challenging when more than one advisor is involved,” he tells me. “I guess it’s like trying to pick where to eat for dinner when there are six people with completely different tastes.”

The difficulty is compounded because many names have already been taken, he adds. Plus, there is certain imagery many advisors want to avoid, “such as get rich quick,” Welsch says. Or climate change (nixing plans for Rising Tide Financial).

“Start thinking about this at the get-go,” Welsch tells me. “It can take months to land upon the right name.”

NEW THINKING ON HSAs
Once advisors have picked the perfect moniker, it’s time to prepare clients for the latest innovations in retirement planning. For many planners, developing expertise on health savings accounts can’t come quickly enough.

Assets in these plans have increased exponentially “How HSAs are reshaping reitrement.”

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“I’ve been hearing about HSAs more and more over the past year."

“Hockey stick growth will continue,” says Senior Editor Charles Paikert. “I’ve been hearing about HSAs more and more over the past year, culminating in the publicity they got as a prominent feature of a Republican proposal to replace Obamacare.”

Despite some demerits, which include recurring fees, Paikert says, “their future is very bright.”

Bright future. That’s exactly the attribute many practice founders want to indicate when picking firm names. Too bad it’s already taken.

Chelsea Emery

Chelsea Emery

Chelsea Emery is Editor-in-Chief of Financial Planning, SourceMedia’s flagship brand covering wealth management.