Many so-called experts have given their 2016 predictions: “Brace yourself for volatility,” “Be prepared for a downturn,” and so on. All are focused on the short term. Financial gurus such as Larry Fink and Warren Buffett are long-term thinkers. In fact, Fink has been on a crusade against short-term thinking, which he refers to as “short-termism.”
This is not to say that advisors should ignore the short term, but they’d be well served to pay more attention to where the industry is going long-term, or at least three to five years from now.
Based on The Oechsli Institute research on affluent consumers and elite advisors, there are three trends that will drive the future of wealth management:
1. Technology – The following are being used very successfully by financial advisors. That said, every financial advisor should use technology within their specific compliance guidelines.
Video Portfolio Reviews – There’s a handful of financial advisors we’ve coached who are conducting portfolio reviews for time-crunched clients using video.
Social Media – A financial advisor’s brand is digital, and it’s important to be capitalizing on all aspects of social media. This goes beyond LinkedIn, although it is the most robust for professional use.
Websites –Financial advisor Google searches are becoming commonplace, so your website needs to be clean, current and reflect your differentiation.
Video Content – Today’s affluent don’t like being the target of marketing campaigns and don’t trust advertising. Instead, embrace content marketing. Ninety-five percent of millennials think they can learn how to do anything on YouTube. We’ve helped a number of financial advisors create helpful two- to three-minute videos, such as “Three Things You Should Know When Creating a Financial Plan,” and so on.
Podcasts – This can be an excellent medium for content marketing, but they do require a lot of work.
Blogging – This is another form of content marketing—similar to podcasts but without the structure.
2. The Affluent Household – Today’s affluent want their financial advisor to oversee every aspect of their family’s financial affairs. That includes the children. Whether it’s setting up college funds, educating them on investments, role-playing job interviews or offering career guidance, affluent parents are starved for this kind of care and guidance. Yet, only 21 percent of financial advisors have ever expressed an interest in working with the children of their affluent clients. I’ve had advisors tell me, “I don’t want them; they’ve got no money and are a hassle.”
3. Comprehensive Wealth Management – Financial advisors seem to have a disconnect between how they get paid and the services they provide. For today’s affluent, it doesn’t matter how you get paid; what matters is whether they are getting their money’s worth for the service their family needs. Elite advisors understand this and provide services that go far beyond the immediacy of compensation.
The idea is to provide real and comprehensive financial planning. Help your clients follow the
plan and make adjustments when necessary; don’t just check a box on a form indicating you’ve created a financial plan for each client.
It’s important to be a forward thinker who takes the appropriate actions. Be it with technology, the next generation, seniors in need of assisted living or the ongoing evolution of wealth management, affluent investors will want a financial advisor who is current, truly cares for their clients and has incorporated excellence into their practice. n