Earlier this year Spectrem Group published a report about investors and their political beliefs and taxes. Overall we found that most investors don’t know which political party their financial advisor supports and generally feel they don’t really care. We recommended in the report that it would be good for an advisor to ask some pertinent questions of their clients to determine which way their clients might lean politically. The goal of determining this information is not to have a political discussion (or debate). The research indicates that investors have different types of investment concerns based upon their political beliefs and advisors would be wise to be aware of these biases and fears when making investment recommendations.
As you can see in the chart below, 65 percent of investors do not know the political affiliation of their financial advisor. That is good.
So what does this have to do with LinkedIn?
There is a financial advisor with whom I am acquainted. This gentleman works for a large financial advisory firm and I am LinkedIn to him. He is not my financial advisor, just someone I know. Over the years this financial advisor has done an excellent job of posting different articles, generally related to financial topics, via LinkedIn. Recently, however, his commentary in relationship to the articles has had a political tone. For example, it may be an article on trade tariffs with a negative comment about the President in relationship to the trade wars. Or it may be an article about the 4.1% GDP with a disclaimer about how our crazy President was taking the credit for the GDP even though he had nothing to do with it.
When the commentary first started, I thought maybe it wasn’t intentional. Or maybe he is just so cavalier and confident that everyone he knows feels similarly that he doesn’t think about it. Maybe he knows that all of his customers have the same political leanings. But maybe they don’t.
Posting articles on LinkedIn that may be interesting to clients, prospects and acquaintances is a great way to demonstrate expertise. I highly encourage advisors to communicate in this manner. But I also believe it is really important in today’s political environment to remain neutral … and to make sure you are being neutral. This guy should have a Trump supporting associate read his posts before making them live to ensure that he is not upsetting anyone.
Why should other financial advisors care? Because I can promise you that my husband … who has different political leanings than this advisor … finds his commentary (which is mild) so inappropriate that my husband wants to move his accounts from this organization … even though he is serviced by a totally different advisor. The entire organization has become unappealing because of the tone-deaf feelings of one advisor.
Such is the political and emotional landscape in 2018.
© 2018 Spectrem Group