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Clients Want Holistic Financial Advice But Prefer It To Be Comprehensive

A recent study by BNY Mellon’s Pershing shows specific words matter.

Clients want holistic advice, just don’t call it that.

Financial advisors use many words interchangeably to describe their services but a recent study by BNY Mellon’s Pershing shows not all words are created equal. For example, 84 percent of clients preferred the word “comprehensive” over “holistic” and the wealthiest want to be referred to as “high-net-worth” clients. Still, clients consider some words synonymous. 

As more advisors offer financial planning alongside investment management, the combination itself becomes less of a differentiator. Even the best wealth managers could miss out on business because of the language they use and advisors should consider that, the study said. They should even consider the words they use for each client segment—clients under 40 strongly prefer “advocate” over “fiduciary” but the opposite is true for clients older than aged 65.

“Word’s matter. On that, the research is clear,” the report said.


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