What does your brand say about you?
In today’s fast-moving economic marketplace, an advisor is only as good as his or her word. For financial advisors, reputation is everything, and there have never been more channels out there for financial professionals looking to make a name for themselves. From social media, to email, to local networking groups, there are countless stages available, ready and waiting for advisors to step up and make a name for themselves.
What these financial professionals say and do in these public forums could make all the difference when it comes to gaining new clients, establishing connections, and setting themselves up for future success.
As an advisor, it’s important to regularly ask yourself who you are, what you stand for, and how you’re creating value for your clients. After all, these are the questions that investors are going to ask. It’s important to be prepared. In today’s financial landscape, investors are looking for advisors who:
Provide Education and Insights
As an advisor, are you taking care to educate your investors on the ins and outs of the market? Are you positioning yourself as a true expert on the strategies that will help your clients reach their biggest financial goals?
According to a recent study, fewer than half (45%) of investors say that they completely trust themselves to make important investment decisions on their own. 61% say that they would prefer to have an expert find and educate them on the best investment opportunities. In fact, 88% of investors say that they trust financial advisors more than any other source when it comes to investment decision-making – outranking even industry analysts and the financial media.
Similarly, a study brought to our attention by Advisor News found investors ranking the factors that were most important to them when choosing an advisor. Survey respondents overwhelmingly cited the importance of education, stating their preference for advisors who:
- Provide a clear explanation of fees
- Discuss financial goals and planning with family members
- Assist with tax issues
- Help manage market volatility
- Talk about estate planning
- Provide insights on charitable giving and philanthropy
Look at the Entire Financial Picture
Are you the sort of advisor who considers the entire life cycle of an investor? Do you help your clients keep an eye on the future, while managing their resources in the present? Do you take the time to truly understand every investor’s personal story, their unique wants and needs?
Among investors, there is a clear desire to work with advisors who “offer investments that reflect personal values,” as Advisor News notes.This is in line with findings from Financial Advisor Magazine, which notes that millennials, baby boomers, and Gen X all “want an advisor who ‘understands their financial goals.’”
Similarly, a comprehensive MIT study of investor sentiment across social media found that personalization — that is, “tailoring a financial plan specifically to client needs” — was discussed positively more often than other crucial factors like “expertise” or “experience.”
Make Communication Simple
Are you accessible, responsive, and communicative, across all of the channels that are most important to investors today?
According to one major survey of individual investors, reported by Advisor News, the most frequent answer among investors asked what they were looking for was “simply to be heard.”
Similarly, writer Sara Grillo has conducted interviews with countless investors. Here’s one response that sticks out to her:
“I need an advisor who can free up my time. I the past I had time to play with my portfolio but now I’m at the point in life where time is the most valuable thing I have.”
Numbers from ThinkAdvisor also reveal that,among all clients who have recently left a financial advisory, 36% indicate that “limited frequency/poor quality of interactions with financial advisor” was a key determining factor, as was “poor service quality” (14%).
And how are investors connecting with advisors? Today, more people go online than ever before. According to reports, 35% conduct their interactions with advisors on some kind of mobile device; 30% of consumers are even open to working with an advisor remotely, using technology to connect with an advisor who does not live near them. And per statistics from PwC, roughly half of all ultra-high-net-worth people use Facebook regularly, with the average adult spending roughly seven hours a week on social media, according to Fortune.
Project Integrity and Trustworthiness
As an advisor, are you honest, trustworthy, and transparent? Do you make it easy for investors to trust you with their most important assets?
According to a report from Investor’s Business Daily, “66% of advisors and 63% of clients cite professionalism,” as an essential trait for a successful wealth manager. Advisors and investors also agree on the importance of transparency, “with 37% of advisors and 45% of clients citing that trait.” Similarly, according to that report, 60% of investors value “integrity” in their wealth management professionals – making it more notable than “financial acumen” among prospective wealth management clients.
In that same vein, 73% of Baby Boomers, and 63% of Next Gen, report that “firm reputation/trust” is a key factor guiding their decision to sign on with a financial advisor, according to findings from ThinkAdvisor. A 2017 survey of financial customer experience from Qualtrics, brought to our attention by CNBC, also indicates that nearly half of all investors consider trust to be one of the most significant reasons for selecting one advisor over another.
Aren’t About the Sale
Are you independent and client-focused, able to put all of your attention on serving your clients and helping them meet their financial needs? Or are you obligated to “push” certain products over others, without considering the best interests of the investors you’re serving?
Here’s another investor, quoted by writer Sara Grillo:
“[I want] an individual assessment based upon my personal situation, not some boilerplate pitch.”
Advisor resource site The Advisor Coach puts it this way:
“Remember… the affluent don’t want a sales pitch.”
Building Your Brand With FourStar
Are you looking to define your brand as an advisor? Looking to join an independent and client-focused firm that is continuing to grow while staying at the cutting edge of next gen wealth advisory? Get in touch if you think FourStar Wealth Advisors sounds like the right fit for your professional goals.
At FourStar, we believe that the greatest success comes from putting our focus squarely on clients. This doesn’t only benefit investors – it also creates a superior environment for advisors, as well.
We believe in unshackling advisors from the rigid protocols that the large companies demand, granting advisors the freedom to deliver the services they want, charge whatever they feel is fair, and hire who they want, when they want.
In short, we believe in letting you build your brand, your way, empowered by our unique and innovative advisor tools. We offer advisors unparalleled opportunities to service and expand their client base, including access to enhanced multimedia marketing capabilities, philanthropic advisory services, a fiduciary executive advising suite, a next level technology suite, and a cutting edge financial planning suite.
Have any more questions? Do you think joining FourStar might be the right fit for you? Don’t hesitate to give us a call at 312-667-1750, or reach out through our convenient online portal today.
GENERAL ADVERTISING DISCLAIMER
This article is provided by FourStar Wealth Advisors, LLC (“FourStar” or the “Firm”) for general informational purposes only. This information is not considered to be an offer to buy or sell any securities or other investments. Investing involves the risk of loss and investors should be prepared to bear potential losses. Investments should only be made after thorough review with your investment advisor, considering all factors including personal goals, needs and risk tolerance. FourStar is a SEC registered investment adviser that maintains a principal place of business in the State of Illinois. The Firm may only transact business in those states in which it is notice filed or qualifies for a corresponding exemption from such requirements. For information about FourStar’s registration status and business operations, please consult the Firm’s Form ADV disclosure documents, the most recent versions of which are available on the SEC’s Investment Adviser Public Disclosure website at www.adviserinfo.sec.gov/