RIA Market Trends to Watch 2023
As 2023 begins, it’s important to take a look at the RIA industry and the trends that have been impacting the market. The past couple of years have held some huge barriers for the financial advisory industry, which have in turn affected its trends. Looking at trends from the past year and what can be expected over the next year can help financial advisors prepare for the future.
2022 in Review
In 2022, there were a number of aspects that greatly impacted the RIA landscape. Many of those factors were already in motion a year ago, but they asserted themselves as here to stay in the post-Covid economy.
Impact of COVID
The ripple effect caused by COVID in 2020 and beyond has impacted the industry in both 2022 and continuing into 2023. As the storm tide of mandatory disruption has receded, the “beach” of industry norms has emerged changed for the long run.
What does this mean for financial advisors? Flexibility is key for all types and sizes of firms, as there have been consistent changes occurring. Not only do they need to be flexible, but they also need to become adept in numerous platforms, as well as engage in virtual business and virtual management.
There are a handful of things that financial advisors are now focusing on due to the lasting impact of COVID, including:
- Client Connection – relationships that endure volatility.
- Increase in Services – an emphasis beyond investment management.
- Virtual Tools – increased technology and automated processes are expected now.
- Business Development – consistently assessing business to discover areas of improvement.
While COVID introduced unnatural volatility into business as usual, the rumors and headlines regarding recessions have not slowed down all that much. Some financial planners are certain of an impending recession while others are confident that one will be avoided. While the future is unknown, your clients have likely heard the talk and are seeking to prepare for the possibility of recession.
Financial advisors need to take their clients’ concerns seriously and should not ignore them. By understanding that their clients feel strongly about preparation for what may come, advisors are able to be supportive and a calm voice of reason.
The best thing you can do for your clients is to encourage them to focus on their financial goals and on setting things in order so that they can stay comfortable should a recession arise. Some of the things you will want to do in order to help your clients stay comfortable yet prepared as they wait out the current economy, is to have strong, reliable, and transparent communication, proper risk mitigation, and intentional budgeting.
Just like many industries, the RIA industry transformed into a mainly digital industry rapidly due to COVID. The trend towards virtual hasn’t slowed and financial advisors are taking on more and more virtual clients. Additionally, as clients grow accustomed to digital services, the burden is on advisors to match those expectations.
Tools for virtual advising include online portals and virtual conferencing resources. Many financial firms have undertaken virtual meetings, omnichannel communications, and other digital business aspects.
Advertising has also gone virtual, with digital marketing and the establishment of an online presence becoming the top practice for discovering new leads and gaining clients. Virtual portals are also becoming the norm, giving clients and advisors 24/7 access to their accounts.
We can’t forget how 2022 saw a huge shift in compliance regulations, with a change in the SEC marketing rule for the first time in 60 years. The change included a new allowance for soliciting reviews and using 3rd party review sites.
Before the change, financial advisors were not allowed to use testimonials in marketing. Now, however, they can use and solicit reviews but must strictly adhere to provisions. To explore what this means for you, consult your compliance officer for guidance.
Looking Ahead to 2023
While trends in 2022 provided numerous new opportunities for growth and scalability, there were also challenges. These challenges included learning to use top tools and technology, making a point of active engagement with clients and potential leads, and making branding a priority in order to stand out in a now-virtual marketplace.
Both the trends and challenges will impact the industry in 2023. Financial advisors should follow a handful of tips in order to stay relevant and ensure they are continuing to head towards competitive success. Tips for 2023 include:
The Options Have Evolved – Has Your Business Model?
Changing elements of your practice as a financial advisor may be a burdensome thought. The problem? This leads many advisors to accept the status quo and fall behind more competitive firms building client-centric experiences.
Just as importantly, these options aren’t just for your clients. The industry has undergone more evolution than ever to provide better options for advisors willing to explore them. Here are a few of the key advancements to consider:
- The advisor exodus to independence is at an all-time high because of brand and product independence.
- There are impressive virtual support options available to scale your team like outsourced investment management and back-office options.
- There are more peer-to-peer options available than ever before to help you connect with other growth-minded advisors and sharpen your vision.
A Strategic Marketing Plan is More Important Than Ever
For many advisors, marketing is the “priority” that gets put on the backburner. Those who double down and invest time and resources into their marketing strategy have more ability to stear the future of their company. Creating a strategic marketing plan is the critical first step. To do this, advisors should determine a number of factors, such as:
- Target market – is it worth targeting a niche you can uniquely help?
- Value proposition – don’t rest on claims any other advisor can easily make.
- How to connect and engage with the target market – how will you find and engage them?
- Emphasizing relevance and authenticity – faceless brands don’t build relationships.
Be Intentional with Your Client Service Model
Figuring out how to reach and draw clients in is an essential component of growing your financial advisor business. There are a few techniques advisors can use to support sustainable client growth moving into the future.
- No need to stay local, advisors should explore taking on virtual clients from around the world.
- Offer inclusive family wealth management services, advisors shouldn’t leave anyone out of the discussion.
- Be compassionate. Understanding the worries and fears of clients is essential. Advisors should make transparent communication about these issues part of their practice.
Building a Firm Without Compromise
2022 saw some massive shifts and trends for financial advisors. Growing a successful practice in 2023 means understanding these trends and learning to utilize them to your advantage. As you move forward, you’ll want to focus on building out your offerings in a digital marketplace and utilizing new tools and technologies to better serve your clients.
If you’re looking for a new environment for your advisory business, we invite you to consider WealthPlan Group. Our advisors enjoy access to integrated investment management, back-office support, retirement plan management, and more.