The Transparent Advisor Movement

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The Transparent Advisor Movement’s mission is to promote ideals of:

  • Clarity,
  • Modesty,
  • Integrity,
  • Fairness,
  • Logic, and
  • Client advocacy

in all aspects of financial advice, with a special focus on Advice Only, Flat Fee, and Hourly service models. There is an emphasis on logical and clear disclosure of services and their related fees.

The Transparency Movement is the future of the industry – we welcome anyone who believes in our values to join us.

Join the Transparent Advisor Movement

Who am I?

I am Sara Grillo, CFA and I’m declaring war on all forms of deception, manipulation, and other old-school, toxically controlling behaviors within financial advisor practices.

Sara Grillo, CFA is a highly fun and slightly crazy marketing consultant based in NYC.
I am an irreverent and fun marketing consultant for financial advisors.

And who are we?

The Transparent Advisor Movement is a free networking and thought leadership group of financial advisors, thought leaders, and related professionals who are busy forging a future for the industry that is a transparent one.

The goal of the Transparent Advisor Movement is to create a new age of financial advice – delivered by the most ethical, effective, and successful financial advisors that the industry has ever seen in its history. To do this, we are dismantling many of the norms and reconstructing them with a sheer focus on the experience of the end client, something that has never been done before.

Specific examples:

  • Educating financial advisors of all business models (AUM, fee only, commission, etc.) about how to run a business with higher transparency to the client
  • Working with advocacy groups to influence state and national legislation that is more support of transparent marketing practices
  • Mentoring younger advisors
  • Matching up advisors one on one to be accountability partners and support each others’ growth
  • Speaking on college campuses to encourage college students to avoid “career trafficking” smile and dial predatory wirehouse and insurance training programs and pursue fee-only paraplanning jobs instead

Join the community!

Join our LinkedIn group for online discussions and to network with those who share our values. Many are financial advisors who practice as Advice Only, Flat Fee, and Hourly planners.

If you want to meet flat fee and advice only planners in your area, here is a Directory of some of the financial advisors – state by state – participating in our Transparency Movement. Click the link to download:

Download PDF of advisors by state

Read the Transparency Letter!

Join our email list to receive monthly “Transparent Advisor Letter” and get the latest transparency news, from industry events to practice management tips.

Come to our monthly meetups!

Join our next Transparent Advisor virtual meetup.

These meetups are free and the goal is to learn from each other about how to grow and manage a transparent practice for the benefit of clients. We meet over Zoom on the second Wednesday of every month at 1 PM ET.

Even if you can not make the meetup, please register for the replay and to be notified of the next one.

And we’re even having an in person event in 2024.  Will you join us in real life?

When: Wednesday, March 13th – Thursday, March 14th, 2024

Where: DoubleTree by Hilton St. Louis Airport, 4505 Woodson Road, St. Louis, Missouri, 63134

It’s called Immersion 2024.

picture of water

And so you ask: What’s an “Immersion”?

It’s going to be a radically different experience.

Expect LOTS of this:

  • Peer to peer conversations
  • Opportunities for personal growth
  • Strengthening of group unity
  • Strengthening of values
  • A group volunteering event
  • Purity of thought and humility
  • Small group interactions such as role playing and tech demos from other advisors not vendors
  • “Ask me anything” sessions with practical insights from actual practitioners
  • Information about “how to do stuff” from people who are actually doing it!
  • 25 minute presentations – short and to the point before you fall asleep!
  • Clean, safe accommodations that won’t cost a fortune

And NONE of this nonsense:

  • Sponsorships
  • Sales pitches
  • Hidden agendas and conflicts of interest
  • Boring, long presentations
  • High level lectures from “thought leaders”
  • Monogrammed water bottles and other junk
  • Showing off, posturing, and the usual virtue signaling crap

Transparency leaders in the news

See all the noise we’re making? And we’re just getting started!

Cameo Roberson, Clients rank clear fees over investment gains, survey shows

Knut Rostad, Colorado Revises Financial Planning Guide

Bob Veres, The Obstacles, and Solutions, to a Post-AUM Profession

Danielle Miura, Market Watch

Andy Panko, Financial Advisor Success Podcast

Sara Grillo, Flat fees gain traction among advisers critical of asset-based pricing

Mark Berg, Hourly Financial Planning is a “Vast Blue Ocean”


Are you ready to join the Transparent Advisor Movement?

Without total transparency there is no trust.

There is no trust with half transparency and unfortunately that is the mode that the financial advice industry has been stuck in for 100% of its history. It’s not an understatement; you really wouldn’t believe the bogus crap I’ve seen over 20 years.

I’m declaring war on : closedness, half truths, non truths, ignoring, passive aggression, deception, control and manipulation, all of which are fully present in the world of financial advice today, which is why the Transparent Advice Movement is so important.

Example: I cant put my fees on my website because I want to take the prospects to Morton’s Steakhouse before we meet so I can get them to like me.

Example: Here’s our “Board” (so you don’t look like a one person team which is what you really are)

Example: That’s not a kickback it’s a consulting fee paid once a year

Example: This annuity carries no cost (but it does carry an impicity reduction in the yield spread!)

Example: I’m the #2 financial advisor in the country (according to a list that is defined to be social media influencers)

Example: We’re an RIA, we don’t sell insurance (except in a personal capacity and/or through our associated Brokerage General Agency, lol).


Is this a revolution or a resistance?

Actually it is neither.

And it’s not a product, service, subscription program, or any other type of opportunity for me to get you to part with your money.

It is the birth of a new age of financial advice, one that has never ever been evidenced before en masse. But that is all changing with the advent of more transparent financial advice models such as flat fee, hourly, and advice only planning.

The Transparent Advisor Movement, like any movement, is about a new way of thinking, attitudes, beliefs, and action, a new way of observing and analyzing, and new logic.

I hope so. There’s alot of BS in finance and it’ll be better if you are fighting against it rather than succumbing to it.

Remember that words spoken in transparency never come back void.

If you want to be a part of what we’re doing and make history together with us, see the first section above with action items and thanks for being cool.

If not, I hope you’ll at least connect with me on LinkedIn and say hello. I post a ton of stuff to start discussions you may at least find amusing.

Let’s change the world!

-Sara G