When an investor meets with his or her advisor...whether it is annually or more frequently...they often have a list of issues they want to discuss. While they know that they are going to discuss investment performance, there are generally other issues that they want to touch on as well. Unless the client is super-organized and has brought a list of topics, it may be that the advisor may want to touch on various topics to ensure that the client hasn’t forgotten any items that he or she may have questions about. What are those topics most likely to be?
Keep in mind that there are several outside influencers that may cause your client to worry about his or her investments. According to research recently completed by Spectrem Group, one of the biggest influencers is cable business news. More than 30% of investors indicated that the cable business news influences them. What does that mean for advisors? It means that it is important to be aware of the topics that are being discussed on various networks. While specific issues may not impact your client’s portfolio, it may not be apparent to your client that they are protected from whatever hot topic is in the news.
While it’s not surprising that the most common issue investors want to receive information on from their advisor is investments (79%), it’s interesting to know that 73% want information on income generation in retirement. In third place is the current economic environment and its impact on their wealth. More than half want information regarding estate planning and a similar percentage want to discuss planning for retirement. A third would like an understanding of healthcare costs in retirement. Of course the client interest level in these topics varies by age, wealth, gender and multiple other factors.
The important thing for advisors to remember is that the discussion of investments must be within the context of how it impacts their lives. While 38% of investors want to discuss investment performance in their meetings with their advisor, 39% want to discuss their financial plan. Twenty eight percent want to discuss current economic and stock market conditions. Younger investors are more interested in new investment opportunities while Gen Xers are focused on their financial plan.
While it may seem ho-hum to plan for a meeting with a client, advisors should try to foresee what an investor may be thinking about. Make sure you are ready to question them about various issues based not only on their age, gender or wealth level but on what they may have been thinking about the stock market and its recent performance. This is a way to gain an understanding not only of what influences your client but about what he or she is really worried about.
©2018 Spectrem Group