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Editor's Note: Getting It Right

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There’s often talk in the advisory space about the need to “fire clients” for strategic and practical reasons. But for many advisors, the focus of their success is on finding more ways to keep clients in order to grow their businesses.

This month’s cover story, “How Can Advisors Bridge the Emotional, Cultural and Generational Divides?” aims to sort out some of the noise related to the latest thinking on advisor-client relations and to help our readers better understand their clients’ behavior and what it means for the future of their practices.

As Nicholas Arreola of CLS Investments explains, with technology widening its influence in financial services, advisors are discovering that managing client behavior can be their magic wand. In fact, though difficult, embracing the role as a psychologist, or at least as a behavioral coach, can be incredibly valuable for advisors and clients alike.

The aim of this research, and our coverage of it, is to help clients overcome cognitive biases and to better serve them by understanding the benefits and limitations of their particular personality traits and generational characteristics. This work may seem overwhelming, but it seems to offer powerful ways to interact with clients as never before.

In terms of my own communications with financial-services firms, I’ve been mourning the loss of my mother and making lots of phone calls to lots of institutions. I have to say that it’s been disappointing not to hear customer-service reps say “condolences” at the start of many of these conversations.

Both this publication and our website ThinkAdvisor have shared the insights of grief expert Amy Florian, who offers helpful (and easy) ways advisors can support those experiencing loss or other painful transitions. As I go through this process, I’ve come to appreciate an extra touch of kindness and a nice dose of sympathy, empathy and support.

Turning to area of technology, our October issue highlights cybersecurity in conjunction with National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Several of our authors, like Dan Skiles and Fran O’Brien, explain what advisors and clients need to look out for in the ever-expanding world of tech vulnerabilities and cyber crime.

Contributor Tim Welsh shares the buzz from the recent SS&C Deliver conference, including thoughts from advisor Ric Edelman about the coming “cyclical lifetime,” which entails multiple periods of school, jobs, retraining, new careers, sabbaticals and more.

To work with, and not lose out to technology, advisors will need to focus more on helping clients with career plans and health care, especially in light of growing longevity. They also should add self-service functions to their websites and client portals, according to another expert who spoke at the SS&C event.

Washington Bureau Chief Melanie Waddell describes what’s new with regulatory technology, or regtech, in her Washington Watch coverage. A white paper from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority sheds light on how this resource is being used in surveillance and monitoring, client identification and anti-money laundering work, risk management and more.

We send advisors, clients and firms in the Carolinas our best wishes for a speedy recovery from Hurricane Florence, which damages may top $20 billion. We also hope the rest of this year’s hurricane season proves far less devastating.


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