With all of the devastation and disruption we experienced last year, it’s no surprise that so many people were happy to see the back of 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic has severely affected businesses and families across the country, and financial planners have had to contend with more than the usual financial stress and worry from clients since last year.
A survey conducted by the CFP Board in April 2020 found that 64% of certified financial planner professionals noted their clients were experiencing high or very high levels of stress. According to the survey, the top three financial concerns expressed by clients to financial planners during the pandemic have been managing volatility, protecting assets and liquidity.
Since social distancing and Zoom etiquette became part of the national discourse, financial planning and wealth management professionals have been bombarded with questions and requests for advice from clients. The CFP Board reported that 78% of CFP professionals experienced an increase in client inquiries during the pandemic, and 34% of CFP professionals have seen a rise in inquiries from prospects.
We have observed this trend among the advisors utilizing our NaviPlan financial planning platform. In June 2020 alone, there was a 64% increase in updates to financial plans completed in NaviPlan, compared with June 2019. Also, as of Oct. 5, 2020, advisors had created 828,000 new financial plans year-to-date, or 138,000 new plans per month — and had updated more than 1.02 million existing plans, or 170,000 per month, year-to-date.
With advisors having to contend with much higher demand for their time and expertise from clients, while also continuing to operate their practices efficiently and generate new business, the pandemic has accelerated trends in the industry. However, financial planning technology innovations that were already available before COVID-19 can help financial planners manage the uptick in inquiries from clients and prospects, while enhancing their value proposition and growing their businesses.
Below is a list of the digital tools that financial planners can harness to potentially do more for clients and prospects, in less time.