Today’s digital age has brought about a great deal of change in many industries, and the wealth management sector is no exception. Financial advisors, like all businesspeople, need to stay one step ahead of client expectations in order to not only keep those customers, but also win new ones.
Most investors who presently engage with financial advisors fit one of three general profiles:
- Do-It-Yourself (“DIY”) Investors: These clients are self-driven investors who prefer to create their own financial plans or handle their own investments, and don’t necessarily want to be told what to do by a financial expert.
- Traditionalists/Delegators: These investors prefer that the financial advisors or certified public accountants (CPAs) they engage take the lead, and manage the work. These clients may wish to look at their plans online with some frequency, and meet with their advisor for the occasional meeting, but are hands-off most of the time.
- Validators: These clients tend to create a financial plan or goal on their own, and seek validation or feedback from their advisor along the way. But crucially, validators also prefer to review and validate any action an advisor might take beforehand — making them far more collaborative in nature than the other two types of investors.
The cutting-edge financial planning technology solutions currently available in the marketplace can give advisors the tools necessary to understand the needs of these three common types of clients — and provide service and value within the bounds of their desired wealth management experience.
The key to successfully servicing and engaging all of these clients is an interactive, intuitive portal where the clients themselves can — at their own pace and frequency — securely enter personal data, aggregate accounts, and run unlimited scenarios in order to create and implement detailed financial plans that address their individual needs. Advisors can analyze and offer data-driven insights based on the information clients have provided, and make smart data feeds available in client portals to help self-driven clients make more informed planning and investment decisions.
Even if clients prefer advisors to take the lead in managing financial plans and investments, they can log into modern client portals to check the status of their accounts whenever they wish, and from any location, and reach out to advisors with questions through instant messaging. Clients can also access current or archived reports tailored by advisors to address information most relevant to them through client portals.
If a financial planning software platform includes advanced presentation tools, advisors can demonstrate a client’s financial picture and the projected outcomes of certain investment strategies or products using illustration tools, during in-person or mobile meetings. Such presentation tools enable advisors to get down to the nitty-gritty of how investors can achieve their goals, and support their advice with data-backed insights — maximizing the value they provide in meetings with all three types of clients. Furthermore, state-of-the-art presentation features allow advisors to work closely with traditionalists/delegators to craft and begin implementing financial plans and investment strategies.