As the story goes, millennials are the only clients truly interested in all things digital. This group grew up with sophisticated technology and mobile applications, so it should come as no surprise that they would expect and demand digital tools for all of their personal and business interactions.
Yet affluent clients of all ages want their advisors to have the right digital tools to quickly facilitate their financial transactions. Advisors will need to adapt or lose out, says Bijan Golkar, CEO and senior advisor at FPC Investment Advisory – they must anticipate the digital expectations of all affluent clients.
This group is especially tech-savvy, regardless of age, Golkar says. They want convenience and innovation. They want their financial advisor to provide a digital platform that provides smart investment management and financial planning solutions, whether on their laptop, smartphone or tablet.
The client/advisor dialogue
According to Golkar, it’s essential for advisors to step up their game and use technology to differentiate the firm.
“Your online presence needs to make it clear how you are helping the client,” he says. The right kind of technology can enhance the client/advisor relationship and build the advisor’s business. According to a 2016 report from Fidelity Clearing and Custody Solutions, advisors who used more tech than their peers reported 40 percent more AUM and expanded the firm’s reach geographically.
Smart advisors need to think ahead – and some are. The CFA Institute’s April 2017 Future State of the Investment Profession Study found that “48 [percent] of investment leaders expect technology will offer new opportunities for investment.” The report also found that technological innovation influenced the client’s trust in their advisor.
Face-to-face meetings are still certainly an important part of what advisors do, admits Golkar. But today, clients, and especially the affluent ones, are spending more and more time accessing their accounts online than ever before.
“It’s an extension of you being there,” he says. “You need to establish the relationship but have the tech behind it to support it.”