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The previous article I wrote on this subject was so popular that I had to continue my tirade. Toss these six marketing buzzwords in the never-to-be-used jargon dumpster, in reverse order from the least to most offensive.

  1. Family CFO/personal CFO

These are not accurate. A CFO is someone who handles matters such as payroll, recordkeeping, budgeting and procurement. The CIO handles the investments.

Show me an advisor who is willing to carry out those tedious and low-margin tasks for the average client who has let’s say $1 million. Most advisors are only going to do this if acting as a family office for people with $50 million+. Are you going to send wire transfers when they’re on vacation in Europe when what you want to do is create a financial plan (for which you earn high fees) or run their portfolios (for which you earn high fees)?


It’s a sweet idea, though.

  1. Boutique wealth management firm

Small advisor firms like to use the word “boutique” to convey that they serve a sophisticated clientele, but have you ever thought about what the word really means?

“Boutique” is from the Latin word “apotheca,” or storehouse (Merriam Webster, n.d.). Before the investment industry popularized its own interpretation of this word, the meaning it conveyed was that of a small shop. The original storefront meaning is what people who do not work in the investment industry think it means.

Now think about that for a moment. If most people think of a retail store selling trendy clothing and accessories when they hear this word, what is the subconscious effect you are giving them?

Exactly what I said: selling.

We are an industry that prides itself on not being salespeople, but instead being the most loving, huggable, caring people the world has ever seen. We would never dare try to sell you a whole-life insurance policy.

Boutique is for jeans and crop tops, not retirement accounts.