The Information Your Clients Really Want



Each individual investor you work with has a different set of priorities which determine the type of investment and financial assistance they want or need from their financial advisor.

The process of determining what investors really want from their advisor is simply not that simple.

Investment planning is obviously the first and foremost reason an investor hires a financial advisor. Otherwise, their only real professional needs from a financial standpoint could be handled by an accountant or an attorney. But many investors want their advisor to provide guidance in the way they spend their money and live their lives.

 For many investors, it is not enough for their financial advisor to provide only investment advice.

The question of an advisor’s role in the financial life of an investor is addressed in Spectrem’s new study Communicating with Advisors and Providers. One question in the study asks investors to list all of the types of services they desire to receive from their financial advisor, and the results are demonstrative in displaying the breadth of the desired relationship investors want with their advisor.

From a list of 17 different choices, investors with a net worth between $100,000 and $25 million, not including the value of their primary residence, were asked to select the five topic they would like to receive information about from their advisor.

The top priority for investors in gathering information from their advisor is in investments, which 76 percent of all investors requested. But the next most popular choice, at 73 percent close to the priority that investments hold, was “income generation during retirement”. This response indicates that investors are balancing their desire to increase current assets with investing in products that will produce assets down the line, when those investors are no longer creating additional assets in employment.

Advisors should be aware that most investors are investing with dual purposes, the present as well as the future.

The third most popular choice among the topics offered was “current economic events and their impact on my wealth”, which was selected by 64 percent of investors. This is likely a greater interest today than it was tine h past. President Donald Trump has been very direct in promoting his actions as a boon to the economy and the stock market, and investors are now faced with maintaining a consistent level of attention to the moves of the Trump administration to see how market investments will fare. Since many investors are busy in their own work environment to spend a great deal of time following the topic of current economic events, it falls up on their financial advisor to provide a sort of daily economic news brief to keep investors apprised of current events.

Following those first three responses, three other answer choices were selected by 47 percent of investors: “lifestage information pertaining to my financial health”, “estate planning”, and “planning for retirement”. Let’s look at those three in short detail:

·         Lifestage information pertaining to my financial health: This is likely a request to reexamine the investor’s portfolio based on their current stage in life. While there are specific events that cause an investor to reexamine portfolio choices (marriage, birth of a child, etc.), it is important to note when an investor reaches an age where their initial portfolio choices no longer are as pertinent to their needs. Almost half of investors want to reexamine their portfolio based on their current lifestage, which seems to indicate advisors often miss this step in the progression of an investor’s life.

·         Estate planning: Again, almost half of investors are ready to begin planning for their wealth transfer. This happens at different stages for different investors but should be a frequently suggested consideration for conversation no matter what age or stage the investor is at.

·         Planning for retirement: Almost half of investors request information for planning for retirement. Since a majority of the investors in the study are Baby Boomers, there must be a significant number of investors who are at an age where retirement planning should already have been started. It is noteworthy that those investors want more information on that subject.



©2019 Spectrem Group

Keywords: communication, investors, advisors, Spectrem, newsletters, information