What investors want

This week the focus is on what clients want from their financial adviser in the investment arena. With these insights in mind, we believe that you as a trusted adviser will be able to strengthen your value proposition with your client base.

Lets take a look at 7 elements that clients feel their adviser needs to be on top of…

Keep it personal

Listen to their needs, goals, fears and dreams. Work this into the process and develop a bespoke investment solution to their unique needs and goals. Explain why each part of the portfolio is designed to help reach their goals. This will give you an opportunity to explain the benefits of diversification and discuss how different asset classes perform in different market environments. This also allows you to talk about your experience and expertise. Clients like to see that you have a personalized investment passion as well!

Poses the character traits

Integrity, competency and accessibility rating among the highest of character traits an adviser can possess. Clients want to have an adviser that is honest and fair; an adviser that will place the client at the center of every decision. Being an adviser takes into account an ability to master a number financial planning components. In the investment world, variables relating to these components are intricate and confusing. Therefore, an adviser with the skill and ability to guide their client in the investment world with confidence is key as clients seek peace of mind.

The Importance of calm

In a world riddled with economic and political volatility, clients are looking to advisers to hold their hands. That means someone who will help filter through the noise when looking after their investments and the rest of their financial life. Reassured clients are clients that keep to their investment strategies.

Keep it simple and relevant

Clients don’t need to know how to make a watch; they just need to know what time it is - especially in the investment space where there are many technical terms and confusing philosophies. Clients find comfort in their adviser deciphering all information and explaining that info to them in layman’s terms.

Be in constant communication (especially in volatile times)

Approximately 30% of advisers communicate via email newsletters despite the fact that 80% of clients want to receive communication.  Frequent communication is critical in building stronger client-adviser relationships and a solution as simple as emailed newsletters ensure you "touch base" on a regular basis.  Also a scary number of clients say their adviser does not meet with them on at least an annual basis, let alone send them birthday and/or anniversary cards. Clients who feel a strong communicative bond with their adviser are 85% more likely to remain with their original adviser than seek another.

Don’t be afraid to deliver bad news

Once again this routes back to honesty; clients would prefer to know if or when their portfolio has been negatively impacted, as opposed to being left in the dark. But exactly how you position the conversation is equally important. Here’s an example: ‘We don’t like what’s happening in the markets these days, but here’s how we are looking at it and here are some of the things we are doing to buffer the situation for you.’ If you are honest with your clients, they can’t fault you for misleading them.

The bottom line

Whether you’re a new adviser building your client base or have been in the business for decades, it never hurts to evaluate if your clients are finding what they’re looking for. Listen to every detail and don’t be scared to ask questions to unpack individual differences. This kind of information will be priceless in the long run, especially in aiding you to partner with your clients throughout their investment journey.