President's Blog - When Current Events Demand Attention
Americans living in urban areas have a very difficult time leaving the outside world behind. The 24/7 news cycle is hard to avoid, because there are TV monitors everywhere: in bars, restaurants, coffee houses, train stations, airports, and even at the gas pumps.
The constancy of bulletins, alerts, updates and breaking news can be acidic. Sometimes, citizens just want to get away from it all. But they can’t, because it is always there.
And, for affluent investors, every one of those bulletins and alerts can have an impact on their portfolio. If there is a money or investment angle to the story, investors want to know it and understand it, and there is almost always a money angle to the story.
That’s where you come in.
Since the invention of social media in the late 20th century, advisors and providers have been urged to use that medium to stay in touch with clients or to reach prospective clients. Spectrem’s annual report on social media usage among affluent investors shows that the interest in communication with and from advisors via social media is important and growing in value to investors every year.
The struggle for advisors and providers is to determine what to post on Facebook or Twitter (as well as what they can or cannot post due to federal regulations). “What do my clients want to read?” “What can we post that matters to them, and they can use?” “How do I know they are even reading these articles or blogs or watching the financial videos I post?”
Without a client survey, advisors and providers may not know exactly how their message is being received.
However, when something significant happens in the news that could impact portfolios, investors who are social media-savvy are going to be on their computers, laptops, tables or phones looking for information on how the current event could impact their investments. And they very often turn to their advisor’s or provider’s website for guidance.
An example from last week brings to mind the value in having an active social media presence.
Late last week, president Donald Trump announced intentions to place a tariff on steel and aluminum products coming into the United States from foreign countries. His stated purpose was to even the playing field for American steel and aluminum products, which are unable to compete with imported products due to the high cost of production in the United States. The tariffs, according to the President, would make American products more competitive from a bottom line standpoint.
The announcement, made without much prior conversation among Congressional leaders on matters of international trade, caused an immediate reaction in the U.S. stock markets, which plummeted 400 points on March 1 and struggled to regain losses on March 2.
Because of the sudden nature of the president’s announcement, economic experts on both sides of the conversation were called into action, making talking head appearances on cable TV shows and getting quoted in financial news reports about the impact the tariffs would have on product prices in the U.S. They were likewise asked how the tariffs might impact investments in those metal-producing and refining industries going forward.
Who should investors listen to when news breaks and reactions come in from both sides of the topic? The answer should be you, their trusted advisor.
Spectrem research shows that investors want to get their financial news from their advisor if possible. Along with stops at websites for CNBC or Fox Business, investors look at their advisor’s website for updates on current financial events.
Even in fluid situations when it is impossible to clearly state what effect such announcements will have ultimately, advisors can provide guidance in real time by offering social media posts on Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn. While those posts cannot offer actual investment advice, they can explain the impact on current events on standard investment procedures and trends. Such posts can also offer solace in the form of an invitation to call with further questions.
Then, advisors and providers can make sure they are ready to answer questions that come in about the steel or aluminum industries (as in our example above). Prepared remarks will make advisors sound knowledgeable and provide some comfort to investors who may think their investable assets are falling off the table, or may think they are missing out on an investment opportunity because they are not up-to-date on national and international events which can cause stock market upheaval.
Investors may not always appreciate a random phone call, but they will always appreciate finding the information they need when they need it. In today’s world, investors need new advice almost every day, and will look to their advisors for updates.
© 2018 Spectrem Group