Enjoy the current installment of “Weekend Reading For Financial Planners” – this week’s edition kicks off with a new consumer research survey from Cerulli, finding that consumer willingness to pay for financial advice is at an all-time high, as the pandemic has increased demand for financial advisors and shifting business models are providing consumers new ways to engage with a financial advisor on a fee-for-service basis (even if they don’t have a portfolio to manage or a need for a particular financial services product).
Also in the news this week is an AssetMark study finding that while many financial advisors have been happy with their advisory relationship through the pandemic, many are not (and the biggest driver appears to be the extent to which the advisory firm has implemented virtual meeting tools to communicate with and stay connected to the client), and another Cerulli study finding that advisory firms that are heavier adopters of technology average almost twice the size of “light” technology users and are almost 60% more likely to have very affluent clients.
From there, we have a few marketing-related articles, including a discussion of how some advisory firms are adapting to remote business development, a series of 21 “virtual marketing” ideas (from virtual wine tasting events to virtual games nights with clients and prospects), and a discussion of the striking parallels between fishing and prospecting for advisors (including a focus on trying to reel in leads as soon as they bite, and recognizing that often the most important driver of the outcome is simply figuring out the right location to fish and focus your efforts in the first place!).
We’ve also included a number of practice management articles, including a look at how (and why it’s so important) to hire for skills and not necessarily years of experience, the “Hawthorne effect” that often employees just want to know that management is watching and cares what’s going on (more than any particular intervention they may try to boost productivity), and a powerful reminder that even in client-centric fiduciary advice businesses it’s the team that should come first (and not clients).
We wrap up with three interesting articles, all around the theme of the ongoing evolution of financial planning itself: the first looks at how the nature of financial planning advice may be (permanently) changed by the pandemic; the second explores how the ongoing rise of financial services (including financial planning advice) in the employer workplace channel as an extension of how employers are already so financially connected to their employees (by the paycheck); and the last examines whether financial planning as a profession is doing enough to live up to its “implied promise” to always be there for clients and help them through the most challenging and often highly emotional times… which matters more than ever as we navigate through the pandemic.
Enjoy the ‘light’ reading!