Financial Planning Hawaii’s Year in the News (It’s not just about the flowers)

John Robinson |

By John H. Robinson, Founder/Financial Planner (February 10, 2024)

Last year, I made a concerted effort to increase educational content for our client newsletter and blog.  This left less time for publishing articles in editor- and/or peer-reviewed publications.  However, 2023 was a banner year for “getting our name in the paper” with commentary on a broad range of financial planning topics appearing in the NY Times, Barron’s, Financial Planning, U.S. News & World Report, Smart Asset, and Investment News. 


2023  News Citations

Difficult Choices for Some Long-Term Care Policy Holders (NY Times, Dec 15, 2023)

Will details of dirty deeds deter bad behavior? CFP Board hopes so (Financial Planning, Nov. 10, 2023)

Move from Ameritrade a long and bumpy road for RIAs and Schwab (Financial Planning, Nov 3, 2023)

Charles Schwab Has Had a Terrible Year. The Surprising Reason the Brokerage King Won't Be Dethroned.   For some advisors, the move from TD Ameritrade didn't go smoothly. Chances are, they'll stick around anyway.  (Barron's, October 22, 2023)

8 Best Utility Stocks to Buy For Dividends (US. News & World Report, May 10, 2023)

Why You May Want to Avoid this Guaranteed Product in Retirement (Smart Asset, May 9, 2023)

Why retirees still require rainy day funds (Investment News, March 22, 2023


Professional Credibility -> Online Visibility

One of my personal goals has been to make Financial Planning Hawaii and Fee-Only Planning the most respected and most recognized financial advisory brands in Hawaii.  This objective has nothing to do with ego, and everything to do with the value of showing up in consumers’ organic search results. 

Financial planning is an exceptionally difficult marketplace in which to gain online visibility.  To stand out in the crowded advisory space requires much more than a great website.  It requires a website that appears when consumers are searching online for topics related to the planner’s expertise. If the search engines don’t feature the Fee-Only Planning Hawaii or Financial Planning Hawaii’s websites on the first couple of pages for a given search, chances are we will never be found.   

Most individual financial advisors and planners do not have the resources to spend tens of thousands of dollars each year on sophisticated marketing strategies with Google and/or various social media platforms to compete with national financial services firms for sponsored Page-one search placement.

We are extremely fortunate that Fee-Only Planning Hawaii and Financial Planning Hawaii show up on Page one for most consumer searches relating to what we do.  This good fortune is not entirely the result of luck, but rather it’s the fruit of  years of effort in carefully cultivating our relationships with search engines


Our SEO Strategy

Although Google is notoriously secretive about the scores of ingredients that go into its search engine ranking algorithms, we know that gaining recognition from trusted media outlets on an ongoing basis lends credibility to websites as a consumer resource.  Being quoted in highly reputable national media news outlets certainly helps that cause.

Another important ingredient is demonstrated thought leadership through the regular production of original website content.  Many financial advisors attempt to achieve this by posting ghost-written content produced by marketing firms.  However, this content is often bland/generic and is shared by other advisors as well.  All the content I post to the blog is 100% original.  The importance of this ingredient is why I have shifted my focus from publishing articles in media outlets to posting almost exclusively to the FPH and FOPH blogs.

The amount of traffic that a website generates is also important for search ranking, and attracting visitors to a website.  If lots of consumers are finding their way to a website, it is an obvious signal to Google that the site is important and merits recognition.  Building traffic is a major challenge for most individual financial advisors.  The FPH newsletter plays an important role in driving traffic to our websites,  but to really stand out it helps if our content goes viral.

I confess that I have no idea what makes a given piece of content go viral.  I have written many unique, thought-provoking articles that I thought for sure would catch the search bots’ attention without seeing so much as a blip in our visitor count.  Here luck plays a role…and we have been a little bit lucky.  For whatever reason, one of my articles about how long-term care insurance policyholders should manage premium increases from Genworth went viral a few years ago.  That article, and every other article I have written on that subject since has been read by thousands of consumers and continues to drive considerable traffic to our two websites.


Positive Affirmation Helps Too

Having an active local Google Business Profile for both companies is extremely helpful.  A consumer who performs a search related to our business and sees one of the images below is much more likely to contact us.  Our Google Business Profiles are important contributors to our organic traffic.



The fact that Hawaii is a relatively small market makes it easier to gain recognition too, as does having happy clients who post positive reviews. 

In sum, we are grateful for the media attention we garnered last year.   While I certainly appreciate the public recognition, it does not matter much if no one who reads the articles ever becomes a client or even if anyone reads the articles at all.  What is important is that articles from credible, respected publications signal to search engine bots that we have worthy content.   Thanks to all of you for helping us appear on Page One!

If any readers feel compelled to leave a review of our services, here are the links to our Google Business Profiles –

Financial Planning Hawaii Google Business Profile

Fee-Only Planning Hawaii Google Business Profile


Links to JR’s 2023 Published Articles:

Eight Points to Consider Before Accepting One of the Genworth Long-Term Care Insurance Settlement Offers (Hawaii Reporter, December 2023)

A Financial Planner Takes ChatGPT for a Test Drive (Advisor Perspectives, March 2023)


John H. Robinson is the owner/founder of Financial Planning Hawaii and Fee-Only Planning Hawaii. He is also a co-founder of fintech software maker Nest Egg Guru.