Written By: Michelle Budzien
NerdWallet is a website that consolidates the best deals on financial products, such as credit cards, insurance, mortgage rates, and more. It is a useful website to help consumers save time and money by providing information to help make educated financial decisions. The NerdWallet disclaimer states that their “financial service tools, blog content, and reviews are based on objective analysis,” however, it also states that the “site may be compensated through third party advertisers.” NerdWallet serves as a great starting point to help narrow down financial choices, but as always, it is important to validate any information found on the internet.
NerdWallet also features an Ask an Advisor forum. Questions vary, including topics such as personal finance, insurance, investing, healthcare, retirement, small business, and taxes. Consumers and professionals can participate free of charge in the advisor discussion forums.
What is the registration process to contribute to NerdWallet?
To find the Ask an Advisor section on NerdWallet or use the search feature at the top of the page. Type “Ask an Advisor,” then select the page titled “Advisor Signup.” It will guide you through creating a public profile. Once complete, it takes about 48 hours for the site to approve your profile. Upon approval, you can start sharing your knowledge by answering questions as often as you would like. The basic (free) account allows you to create a public profile and answer questions; however, if you want to publish articles on NerdWallet, syndicate content with national media, and receive editorial coaching, there is also a premium account option (currently $35 per month).
What are the pros and cons ofto participating on NerdWallet?
Joining NerdWallet as an advisor is free marketing for your financial services. NerdWallet allows you to create an ad-free, customized public profile, providing potential clients with a brief overview of your services and contact information, driving readers to your business website. It is an excellent platform for financial counselors to share their knowledge with the general public and gain name recognition.
Linda L. Jacob, AFC®, CFP®, a Financial Counselor at Consumer Credit of Des Moines and author of “No More Paycheck to Paycheck”, enjoys contributing several times per week, trying to answer enough questions each week so that she is featured on the front page of the Ask an Advisor section. “This puts my face, name and designations out there,” said Linda. The front page highlights the top contributing advisors each week with a direct link to their profile.
Linda appreciates working at her own pace to answer questions on NerdWallet. There are always plenty of questions available. Linda mentioned that a downside is wanting more information from the person asking the question. It can be tough to tell exactly what they need, so Linda tries to cover the areas she believes they are inquiring about, knowing they can also contact her through her site profile if they would like to continue working with her.
Since NerdWallet is a free forum for the general public to ask financial questions, it will enhance the value of the AFC® as more people see the AFC® designation and associate it with quality financial advice. Mikki Venekamp, AFC® believes NerdWallet gives consumers a better understanding of the different financial professions, with AFC® professionals focusing on budgeting, credit, and debt counseling.
Mikki has noticed that some questions go unanswered. To improve NerdWallet, she suggests they assign unanswered questions to groups of advisors registered on the site so that the consumer is more likely to get a response.
Lisa McLain-Sharp, MBA, AFC®, CHC®, CFEI, LSSBB also contributes to NerdWallet; however, she is concerned with the lack of quality checks on responses. Sometimes the response threads have conflicting or confusing answers.
Overall, NerdWallet is an excellent forum/venue to gain free marketing for your financial services, and a great resource to utilize when assisting clients. The site helps consumers identify the right financial products given their unique situation. While the company receives compensation from advertisers, that is typical of most companies offering free services. The site takes pride in providing financial articles and comparisons that are designed to be fair and honest.
Michelle Budzien, AFC®, is a graduate of Marquette University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. She is currently the Director of Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society in Okinawa, Japan, a non-profit military relief society dedicated to providing financial education and need-based assistance to Sailors, Marines, and their families. Michelle serves on the advisory boards for the American Red Cross, Marine Corps Base Butler, and the Marine Thrift Shop Okinawa.