From the February 2017 issue of Investment Advisor • Subscribe!

Advisors, ‘Amazon One-Click’ Your Firm

Target consumer preferences by following Amazon's example

The industry is changing. You’re not in control of all those changes, but there are unilateral steps to keep you ahead of them. Here are some questions to ask yourself and steps to take depending on the answers.

First, are your client-facing interactions consumer-friendly; that is, are they designed to be convenient for the consumer?

For example, e-signatures are becoming commonplace, and if you don’t accept them, you’re falling behind. It’s time to get away from paperwork. If your company’s processes are frustrating for advisors, they are likely even worse for the end clients — especially when you think about the overwhelming move among all consumers to get away from paper and do their business with a couple of clicks.

Another major change — I’ll call it “Short Attention Span Theater” — is the reason financial firms are working to gamify their platforms and turn everything into a one-page graphic. Investors are no longer willing to devote two to three hours to a comprehensive planning discussion, nor read 30 pages on a proposed investment plan and asset allocation (if they ever were). Everyone, even professionals, wants the one-page summary that answers the question “How am I doing?” or “What am I doing?”, especially when they perceive that investment management is just not that complicated. After all, there’s an algorithm for that.

Clients want to be more active participants in planning, whether through aided DIY or more interaction with a personal financial advisor. This includes not just millennials, but many Generation Xers and boomers. What do you have to offer them — and how will you make a profit?

--- Read RIAs Are in Margin Compresson Survival Mode on ThinkAdvisor. 

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