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The Self-Checkout Financial Service Industry

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The Self-Checkout Financial Service Industry

Is the age of the financial adviser dead? Just mere decades ago, the average consumer would have been taken back by the thought of scanning and bagging their own groceries. Today, self-service is a way of life and has continued to take over every industry imaginable with the financial services industry only the latest with a target on it’s back. 

The model of receiving financial advice has continued to evolve, but when many consumers think of financial planning they envision a give-and-take, with the consumer desiringSelf Checkout in Financial Service advice, and the adviser collecting a fee based on the services or products provided. For those advisory firms who have challenged the status quo, they tend to be fee-only firms that do not make any commissions. While their often holistic approach to planning can benefit consumers with complex needs, it can also come at the cost of higher ongoing expenses and can be time-consuming for those with more specific planning needs. 

According to nerdwallet.com financial planners often charge $2,000 – $7,500 a year to be kept as a retainer or a flat fee per plan is often $1,000 to $3,000. Because the current pricing of unbiased financial advice puts the service out of reach for many individuals looking for financial planning services, the traditional financial services industry is still largely in charge of the planning and sale of products as a packaged service for the vast majority of people.

As more and more information is available online, many individuals strive to self-education and then look to make their own decisions on how to approach their financial goals. This do-it-yourself approach has resulted in multiple start-up companies springing up as well as traditional financial service companies shifting strategies to create the ability for customers to self-purchase financial products and skip the advisor. In essence, we are seeing the creation of self-checkout for the financial industry.        

Researching Changing Landscape of Financial ServicesHere at My Financial Coach, we have embraced the idea of helping our clients understand their financial picture, their own financial behaviors, and look to point out gaps or weaknesses in their situations. This has led My Financial Coach to bring the financial planning know-how for do-it-yourselfers that are looking to self-educate and make their own financial decisions. To answer our earlier question, “Is the age of the financial adviser dead?” the answer is that the financial adviser is not dead but is adapting to provide you full-service advice or just compliment your self-checkout lifestyle. Times change and so must the financial services industry.

Below is a breakdown of our favorite companies that allow you to skip the line and go directly to the checkout with the financial products you want. 


Online Banks:

  1. Discover
  2. Ally
  3. Synchrony Bank
  4. Alliant Credit Union
  5. CIT Bank


  1. LadderLife
  2. Lemonade 
  3. Root
  4. Breeze

Investment Advisors/Robo Advisors: 

  1. Betterment
  2. Wealthfront
  3. Charles Schwab – Intelligent Portfolio
  4. Vanguard – Personal Advisors

Furthermore, we asked our financial coaches about their favorite resources for financial topics. We broke this down between research, tools, blogs, and YouTubers. Here are a number of their favorite resources regarding these categories. 


  1. Nerdwallet
  2. Bankrate
  3. Marketwatch
  4. YahooFinance
  5. MorningStar


  1. Mint.com
  2. Personal Capital
  3. YNAB
  4. Everydollar.com
  5. Credit Karma


  1. The Penny Hoarder
  2. Millennial Money Man


  1. Whiteboard Finance
  2. Common Sense Investing
  3. Graham Stephan


James Hargrave

Director of Financial Planning

My Financial Coach helps Self Checkout in Financial Service


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About the author

James Hargrave brings professional experience in financial planning from his history of working in the banking, investing, and fin-tech industries. He currently has his Master’s in Business Administration, CFP®, CLU®, Series 7 & 63, and the Life & Health License. Though proud of these accomplishments, the desire to better oneself, have integrity, and help those around him are instilled as guiding principles for life decisions.

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