Amid the flood of information financial advisors receive, it can be hard to cut through the extraneous stuff to find valuable input. The good news for mutual fund companies is that financial advisors want the information they can provide — however, they do have some definite preferences about the type of information they need and how it’s delivered.
So says a report from SunStar Strategic, which surveyed advisors to see what their needs are when it comes to the information mutual fund companies can give them.
Advisors are looking for the big picture, the report finds, including macro data and what fund managers think of the market, current events and outlook. They also want to know how all those pieces fit together, and how they play out for the fund and its strategy. But that information needs to be delivered in manageable form, rather than just a data dump — otherwise it can be tough for advisors to share with clients.
When they’re on the hunt for information, advisors regard fund manager websites as the most valuable source of information, going there before hitting sites like Morningstar or a firm’s proprietary tool. Sites need to have plenty of relevant content and be easy to use, with basic information like product performance, descriptions and fee disclosures easy to find.
And about fund performance: It’s important, particularly if it’s been a little off lately. If fund managers aren’t worried, advisors need to know that, and to know why.
Going a little further afield, advisors appreciate new sales and business ideas, particularly on individual sectors or market nuances. Sometimes small and independent shops have the best insights into marketing, says the report.
Advisors would rather get information via email, with 77% choosing that over other formats such as webinars, videos and podcasts. That’s the case for communications from fund companies, too, so that it can be on their schedule and not that of the fund company. And so they don’t get bombarded with too many, 60% of them say they prefer quarterly emails rather than more or less frequently.
Social media is important to 60% of advisors, with LinkedIn being the most popular platform. But that doesn’t mean they spend all their time building a social media presence — particularly since a common complaint among advisors is that “there aren’t enough hours in the day.” Companies that can deliver relevant information to advisors in ways they prefer will find a receptive audience.