Enjoy the current installment of “weekend reading for financial planners” – this week’s edition kicks off with the implementation of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, with the previously-delayed Impartial Conduct Standards taking effect today, June 9th… even as the DoL begins the public comment process of modifying the rule, and Congress proposes further legislation to potentially kill it, suggesting that the fiduciary battle is far from over, especially given that full enforcement is still not scheduled to take effect until 2018 (allowing room for further debate and at least modifications to the rule and its requirements).
From there, we have several articles around marketing and business development, including some very practical ideas on how to improve your client onboarding process to improve trust (and generate referrals), marketing ideas on how financial advisors can build the business (hint: it’s more about persistency of the marketing strategy than a super-creative idea to do something completely new!), and a look at the latest research on how we determine who to trust in the first place (in the context of both employees trusting company leadership, and prospective clients trusting a new advisor).
We also have a few technology-related articles this week, from suggestions on what financial advisor websites need to do to actually generate real prospects, to the new technology solutions coming forth (from financial planning software enhances to online risk tolerance assessment tools) to help aid in advisor digital marketing, a new kind of risk tolerance solution that uses facial recognition to detect when clients become financially stressed, a new digital 401(k) solution for financial advisors, and a look at the proliferating number of “client portals” that financial advisors can offer (none of which really do everything that a financial advisor actually needs!).
We wrap up with three interesting articles, all focused around crafting and improving the financial advisor value proposition: the first is a fascinating look at “The Elements Of Value” from a recent study published in the Harvard Business Review, finding that the key components of value break down into a series of 30 categories, organized around four categories of Functional, Emotional, Life-Changing, and Social Impact (where businesses don’t need to offer all 30, but can excel but thinking about how to be especially good at 5-10 of them); the second looks at the way one financial advisor describes his value proposition to clients, emphasizing that while most people can do it themselves with available technology tools today, few have the time, knowledge, inclination, and behavioral focus to do it well (whereas the value of the financial advisor is knowing and ensuring that it will be done right!); and the last is a look at how the rise of a fiduciary duty, coupled with the rise of technology, is leading financial advisors around the world to struggle in articulating their value proposition going forward, and suggesting that ultimately the way forward will be a shift from helping clients with the “hows” (which they can just look up online), and instead work with them on their financial “whys” instead.
Enjoy the “light” reading!