Jason Friedman, CEO, AdvisorFinder
A year ago, Jason Friedman was working as a financial advisor and realized the difficulties people often face when finding their own financial advisor.
“People didn’t know where to go, who to trust, and financial advisors were inaccessible,” he said.
Friedman said he decided to create a platform to facilitate that search, just like the lightbulb moment.
In June 2022, Friedman and an all-Virginia-based startup team of five launched AdvisorFinder, an online marketplace to help people find and research vetted financial advisors.
“We do this by allowing individuals to be filtered based on their area of expertise, location, people they usually work with, etc.,” he said. “And to make searches even more personalized, we’re releasing the first of his AI-powered search engine, which is similar to Airbnb, but for the financial industry.”
Friedman said that given the current economy, with more people facing financial hardship, and with today’s technology and digitization readily available to everyone, it made sense to create a platform. He said he recognized that And it’s growing rapidly across the country.
“Ultimately, people will be able to make more informed decisions about who to put their money in,” he said. “And live without financial burden or stress.”
A native of Virginia Beach, he graduated from Cape Henry University in 2014 and later received a BA in Finance and Risk Management from the University of South Carolina. After graduating, Friedman first worked in the wealth management industry at Wells Fargo Advisors in Nashville, Tennessee before returning to Virginia Beach to work at Merrill Lynch.
That’s when he realized he wanted to solve problems and become an entrepreneur.
Friedman, CEO of AdvisorFinder, which now operates out of an office space in Assembly in Norfolk, said the marketplace exists to help people find everything from doctors to babysitters. This brings the same convenience to finding a financial advisor.
The site currently has 165 professional financial advisors from across the United States, including several from Hampton Roads, Richmond and Northern Virginia, with a wide range of specialties. Clients can browse and search the site for free. It costs a financial advisor $389 per year to have her personal profile on AdvisorFinder.
Among them is Jacinta Govin, a Virginia Beach financial adviser at investment bank Raymond James. Govin said he learned about AdvisorFinder on LinkedIn and immediately joined in February because there was nothing else like it.
“I really like the more customer-focused approach of letting customers make their own decisions instead of collecting data and selling it to advisors,” she said.
Gobin cited AdvisorFinder as another tool that cast a wider net to serve customers, and said he was even happier knowing the company’s founders were locals.
“From day one, I was amazed by their friendliness, ease of work, and feedback on my profile,” she said.
Sandra J. Pennecke, 757-652-5836, Sandra.email@example.com
Learn more about the Virginian Pilot