Is "Satisfactory" Good Enough?


Financial advisors and their firms make significant investments into the communication materials they produce for investors.  While hard copy newsletters were the original communication tools, in recent years the modes of communication have expanded substantially.  Hard copy newsletters have been supplemented or replaced by electronic newsletters.  Additionally, advisors now produce blogs, videos and podcasts.  But do investors find all of these communications interesting?  Are the communications worth the effort?

Spectrem Group recently asked investors with $100,000 to $25 million of net worth how they felt about the various communications produced by their financial advisory firm. The results indicated that advisory firms may want to continue to focus on how to make these communications even more helpful to investors.

More than 75% of investors read their electronic newsletters frequently or sometimes. Almost 65% frequently or sometimes read hardcopy newsletters.  Blogs, videos, and podcasts are listened to less frequently but that may also be because fewer financial firms are offering these types of communications.

The challenge is how satisfied investors are with the content of these communications.  Investors were asked to rate the newsletters, blogs, videos and podcasts as Excellent, Satisfactory or Poor.  When asked to rate the contents of these communications, overwhelmingly investors described the newsletters as "Satisfactory" while blogs, videos and podcasts often were described as "Poor".

Overall ratings did not vary significantly based upon age.

Financial advisors and providers must reassess their content strategy.  While investors seem to engage with the communications provided, they aren’t crazy about what is included in the newsletters.