The end of 2018 was a raucous time for stock market investors and observers. The first few days of 2019 have not balanced those results from the end of the previous year.
In 2018, the Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered its worst December since 2008, when the nation was just beginning to understand the depth of the effects of the Great Recession. A 2018 New Year’s Eve rally of more than 200 points brought the DJIA to 23,327, which was still almost 2,500 points below the Dec. 3 open of 25,779. That’s a drop of almost 10 percent.
Then, on Jan. 3, 2019, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell another 500 points, only to recover the next day with a 550-point gain. By the close of business on Jan. 8, the DJIA was up 500 points from where it was on the close of business Dec. 31, 2018.
But the first full week of January 2019 also saw President Donald Trump again talking about setting up trade talks with China, a promise that always excites investors – until those trade talks break down or occur without significant result. At the same time, the U.S. Government was in partial shutdown over the President’s demand for funding for a border wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, and many sectors of American business were affected, including most enterprises that have a global influence.
What’s an investor to think? What’s an investor to do?
That’s where you come in.
For those investors who do not make a move without consulting their financial advisor, this is a time of great need in terms of making contact and keeping in touch. For those passive investors who sit on their investments over a long period of time without making a change in allotment, this is a time when they might need to receive a kick in the pants.
One thing is for certain: in an environment where nothing is certain in regards to investments, financial advisors need not worry about being a pest when it comes to contacting clients.
Whether you are thinking about an investor who worries about everything, or thinking about the client who you have not heard from in years, advisors need to alert their clients to their current attitude toward conversations about the current investment atmosphere. A key component of those alerts to clients is explaining how best to make contact with you.
According to Spectrem’s newest study related to electronic communication – Wealthy Investors and the Use of Digital Tools – there is a small percentage of wealthy investors who want to be able to make contact with their advisors through social media websites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Is that a mode of communication you encourage? Are you available on those sites? Do you regularly monitor them for posts? Do you have notifications set up for those sites to alert you to queries from clients? Do your clients know you are available via social media?
According to the Spectrem study, while 72 percent of investors still use e-mail to reach their advisor, 20 percent of investors are getting through via text, the most up-to-date, quick and easy communication device yet known to man.
Are you textable? Do you want to be textable? Do your clients know you are
Between the telephone, your e-mail account, your cell phone and your social media accounts, clients have a myriad of ways to make contact with you, and in volatile investment times, contact plays a major role in keeping clients informed, relatively calm and most importantly satisfied. But with all of those methods of communication, the mere process of staying in touch can become complicated.
At the start of a new year, it might be a good time to visit or revisit with your clients your preferred method of communication. Or their preferred method of communication, if you are willing to accept a variety of answers.
Then, of course, the next step is to figure out what you are going to tell your clients once contact is made.
© 2019 Spectrem Group