“What do you mean we can’t use testimonials?”
My jaw dropped when I first learned that Financial Advisors were not allowed by the SEC to use testimonials in advertisements, publications or communications.
I thought to myself, “How will people know they can trust us?”
Personally, anytime I look for a new service or product, I go online and research to vet the business or product by reading the reviews and testimonials of past customers.
In addition, everything I had learned prior to working in Financial Services, from running my own small business and digital marketing was based on how important it is to listen to customers - their words, their unique voices and, especially, their stories and testimonials.
How do you show the value of a product or service if you aren’t allowed to share your clients’ own words and experiences?
That was the reality for the Financial Services industry prior to 2022. Before 2022, all Financial Advisors were prohibited from utilizing testimonials because the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was concerned about misleading information or false claims.
The SEC is the federal government agency responsible for regulating and enforcing federal securities laws. The commission was created after the 1929 stock market crash. To restore the country's faith in the economy, Congress passed two significant reforms: the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. At their core, these acts provide increased structure and improved oversight of the securities market.
In 2022, the SEC revised their marketing rule prohibiting client testimonials, and brought its advertising regulations into a new era. They recognized that consumer reviews are important to highlight who is (and isn’t) an effective financial advisor.
With the new ruling and careful compliance rules about how to gather such testimonials, SMB Financial Strategies can now showcase client testimonials - making it easier for the consumer to understand the benefits of our services.
In January of 2023, SMB was excited to gather testimonials for the first time ever. We sent out our Annual Client survey and gave clients the opportunity to share their experiences.
Would you like to hear some of what SMB clients had to say? Here are a few Testimonials we have received:
"We've worked with SMB Financial Strategies for about five years and have found that it's a completely different experience than other financial advisors. Sarin took the time to get to know us personally and has continued to strengthen that relationship and trust even as she's expanded her business and team. We know we can get guidance from SMB for any issue that arises, and we'll never feel like we're asking a "dumb question." We enjoy our regular check-ins, understand our finances better now than we ever have, and feel secure in the knowledge that SMB is skillfully managing our investments." - Sara M.
"I reached out to Sarin many many moons ago because I knew starting to save early in life makes retirement a reachable goal. I met her...loved her attention to detail and congeniality and have been thrilled ever since. I've been impressed with her work ethic, and I have recommended her to numerous friends and family members, and she now has many of them as clients :)" - Dave R.
"From the moment I was introduced to Sarin I knew she stood heads above the crowd. Her honest & magnetic personality captured me and I had been around the block as they say. I listened & decided to learn from her. Thanks Sarin/SMB for taking such good care of me with my finances." - Anna T.
"We started with Sarin many years ago, and stayed with her when she started her own company. It was one of the better decisions we made as we moved toward retirement. Sarin made sure to know us, to understand us and our family and then 'partnered ' with us over the years to help us get to retirement. Sarin continues to support us and our family as we move through this stage of our life journey."
- Barry M.
These are only a few of the testimonials we have received. You can read all of the testimonials on our website:
If you are a client and missed the chance to submit a testimonial in January, you are invited to give us one today!
We would love to share your voice and perspective.
You can submit your own testimonial at the bottom of this page:
One of the reasons we value testimonials is because we believe they build trust.
As you know, trust is a crucial part of what we do. At SMB, we are fortunate that most of our clients are referrals from happy clients. We are proud of this community, and our work, and we are excited to showcase it.
Thank you for your testimonials and trust in us.