How Do I Communicate Our Investment Strategies with My Clients?
Being an advisor isn’t just about being a wealth manager – it’s about being an experienced translator. What do I mean by that?
Clients come to you because they have a sense of trust in your expertise. You’ve done this longer and in more depth than they have, and you have knowledge they don’t. But as a trust-based relationship, the knowledge gap is arguably the most common point of contention.
That’s why your success as an advisor isn’t just in your performance. It’s equally dependent on your ability to educate your clients one step at a time to help lessen the knowledge gap. Today, we’re talking about one specific (and sensitive) area of your business: communicating your investment strategy.
Step 1: When It Comes to Markets, Educate, Don’t Just “Commentate”
This is a topic where the old adage is spot on: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Every advisor knows it’s hard to calm an anxious client during tumultuous market conditions. So why do so many of those same advisors also put a robust communication strategy on the back burner?
Most advisors have some sort of market commentary they send out. It might be your own or you might repackage it from a third party. That’s great! The key to remember is that your clients don’t read your insight in a vacuum. They see it through lenses like market conditions and their own personal financial situations.
That’s why communicating your investment strategy needs to go beyond market commentaries. It’s the market education that requires more intentional effort and consistency on the part of advisors. This tees up the rest of our conversation today, but remember this principle: the better you can educate your clients on investing principles, the more you strengthen your ability to communicate in any market conditions.
Step 2: Sharpen Your Simple Concepts, Build From There
Your clients come to you with varying levels of investment knowledge, which means you need language that can prove useful for each level of complexity. For newer investors, simple models offer a good starting point to build a foundation of knowledge. For more complex investors, models help establish a framework to explore more advanced strategies. We’ll use an example from our work under our investment management offerings for advisors.
One of the key questions advisors need to navigate with their clients is risk tolerance. While there is no official method to assess risk tolerance, we have found Riskalyze to be a highly useful starting point. It’s why it’s an integrated part of our tech stack we provide our advisors. A tool like Riskalyze provides an external reference point – a spectrum of behaviors – where they can find a personal sense of “this is me”. It helps them articulate their comfort zone, a practice that helps give them a sense of more control over their financial plan.
From there, you can better align their understanding between their financial plan and your investing strategy. While they might not understand the mechanics of specific investment vehicles, they can hold on to the conceptual understanding that their financial strategy is aligned with their desired future.
Step 3: Host Opportunities for Your Clients (and their connections) to Ask Questions
While broadcast-style marketing is useful for staying top of mind with your clients, you need to have interactive opportunities for them to bring their specific questions. Few things make your clients feel heard like creating spaces for them to actually be heard.
Events have long been a single tool in the marketing belt for advisors so to make this worth your time, here are a few ways to advance your engagement strategy. Here are a few you can use for in-person events OR webinars:
- Record an invitational video to make the invite more personal
- Invite attendees to send in their questions ahead of time
- Record your event and use the recording as an “on-demand” event clients can attend and share
- Create a professionally designed PDF with an overview of your presentation as well as Q&A – you can use this as a “shareable” for attendees to share
- Make a list of specific clients who you think would have questions and invite them personally
I wanted to comment on idea #3 specifically – your time is one of your most valuable resources. Having a recording (or even just a #4) allows you to replay the value of the initial event without having to commit the man hours to replaying it. It lets you scale your engagement without taxing your day planner at the same rate.
Crafting a Complete Investment Experience
When you are planning and creating your client experience, investing as a service is not just about investing your client’s money. There are a wide variety of components that come together to provide the service. Your job as the advisor is selecting and maintaining the best components into a single experience. At WealthPlan Group, we help advisors deliver a polished investment experience for their clients. We can help you:
- Place trades and manage portfolio decisions at scale with high personalization
- Create and deliver reports, saving your team time and bandwidth
- Provide your clients with educational resources to bridge the knowledge gap
In the same way, our advisors are entitled to our client experience – which includes a quarterly open forum. At each forum, our advisors have the opportunity to engage and help us sharpen our “why” behind investment strategies and processes. With a reliable partner in place, you can turn your focus on delivering a highly-personalized client experience. If you’d like to learn more about our investment management services, schedule a call with the team at WealthPlan Group.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which Investment(s) may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor prior to investing. Information is based on sources believed to be reliable, however, their accuracy or completeness cannot be guaranteed. Statements of forecast and trends are for informational purposes and are not guaranteed to occur in the future. There is also no assurance that any investment strategy will assure success or protect against loss.
Investment Advisory services are offered through WealthPlan Investment Management, LLC (“WPIM”). WPIM and WealthPlan Partners (“WPP”) are both registered investment advisors and subsidiaries of WealthPlan Group, LLC.