3 key figures for advisors in 2019

January 23, 2019 by Moriah Diedrich

about the author:

Moriah Diedrich

Demand generation specialist

Moriah Diedrich is a demand generation specialist at Advicent, the financial planning technology provider of choice for nearly 100,000 financial professionals.

2019 looks to be a year filled with changing opportunities for financial advisors as client preferences gravitate towards technology, the importance of next-level customer experiences increases, and operational efficiency becomes crucial for firm growth. As you develop your firm’s strategy for 2019, here are three important statistics to take into consideration.

79 percent

As indicated in Charles Schwab’s Consumer Digital Demands survey, clients across all generations still prefer human assistance over automation when creating their financial plans, managing investment portfolios, and managing day-to-day finances. In fact, although one would expect the tech-savvy Millennial generation to most strongly prefer automation, a resounding 79 percent of Millennials indicated they prefer to build their financial plans with either the combination of a human advisor and automation or by a human advisor entirely. While this information may alleviate the fear of replacement for some advisors, it is still important to note the increasing role that technology plays in delivering financial advice.

As the great wealth transfer looms, Millennial clients will begin to make up a far more substantial market segment for the financial services industry, meaning advisors must prepare to meet their unique needs. Combining FinTech solutions that enhance how your clients view and interact with their advice will be essential moving forward. Additionally, engaging with clients through social media and providing valuable marketing resources such as a financial blog can help foster trust and attract more prospects. Learn more about auditing your firm’s current marketing strategy to be best aligned with 2019 objectives.

Less than 50 percent

According to the U.S. Trust Insights on Wealth and Worth study, less than 50 percent of high-net-worth (HNW) clients are having in-depth conversations with their advisors about topics outside of tax planning and investment strategy or performance. The topics clients have a desire to discuss further include:

  • Estate planning
  • Trust options and implications
  • Strategic philanthropy
  • Preparing heirs to manage the family wealth

This shows there is untapped demand that advisors and wealth managers can focus on in 2019. By paying attention to these client demands, advisors can begin offering more specialized services to help align a client’s wealth with their personal goals and values. This holistic approach serves as a key differentiator and can help attract new prospects and increase referrals.

44.4 percent

Speaking of referrals, findings in Capgemini’s 2018 World Wealth Report revealed that a substantial 44.4 percent of HNW clients found their wealth manager or advisor through a referral. Referrals remain an incredibly efficient way to acquire new business and can be a telling indicator of current client satisfaction.

Interestingly, Capgemini’s report also found that positive portfolio performance and increases in a client’s wealth are not proportionate to increases in client satisfaction. So then, what can advisors do to boost client satisfaction scores, and subsequently, increase referrals? The key is to enhance the personal connection made in the client-advisor relationship and provide client-facing solutions that enhance your advice. This could include options such as a client portal so that clients can easily check on their current goal progress or onboarding techniques to make plan creation a more collaborative experience.

As you and your firm refine a strategy for 2019, keep in mind the increasing demand for technology and how this preference can be leveraged to become more competitive. Firms that embrace evolving consumer demands while providing a personal, holistic approach to financial planning will be set for success over the next 12 months and beyond.

To learn how to identify and eliminate inefficiencies in your firm's financial planning process in 2019, click here.

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