Are You Ready?


You must be prepared for what a Trump presidency will mean to your clients.

The problem, of course, is that no one knows for sure how a Trump administration will affect the markets and other investment properties. After an initial surge when he won the election, the market has cooled, and a wait-and-see attitude has prevailed.

But the message I am delivering to you today is this: while it is wise to keep an eye on any decisions that a Trump administration will make that could affect investments, the key is to be ready to act accordingly. And one of the most important acts you can make is to contact your clients.

Investors are going to be antsy in the coming months, wanting to be in a position to take advantage of whatever changes occur. They are also going to need direction, because many actions being considered by both the president-elect, his cabinet and Congress are new and extreme.

Obviously, advisors and financial firms will be watching with a sharp eye and bated breath to see what decisions may affect their industry. But the most important detail to remember related to the upcoming changes is that your clients are going to want to know what it all means, and they will be looking to their financial advisor to explain it.

Advisors and providers have dozens, perhaps hundreds of clients, and it will be difficult to maintain personal contact with each of them during these dizzying months. But one point that is continually made in Spectrem’s research with investors is that they really like to be contacted with news and kept in the loop when their investments can be impacted.

Our annual study of investors and their social media habits details how investors use sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to keep an eye on financial newsmakers and commentators. Many investors are willing to connect with their financial advisor on all of those sites, and advisors can use social media to alert investors to significant financial events (while considering the compliance regulations that monitor and regulate such communications).

Our studies show that some investors prefer phone calls from their advisors while others are willing to take calls from advisor associates. Some investors watch financial videos while others read blogs.

The one irrefutable fact is that most investors will be looking for information more so than they have ever looked before.

Wise advisors and firms will be proceeding with caution. As volatile as investment markets are when there is political and governmental stability, they will be so much more active and potentially erratic in the months to come. Offering advice related to decisions by the Trump administration and the Republican-led Congress could be risky business.

Investors who are moderate to conservative risk takers may be unaffected immediately, but they will want to be reassured that their portfolio is still stable. Investors who are a bit more adventurous will want to take advantage of the upcoming changes and will be looking for immediate advice as changes occur.

If they have not done so yet, advisors must consider their method of delivering messages just as much as they consider the message they plan to send. An updated procedural on social media posts, website articles, video presentations and standard phone and email messaging must be instituted as quickly as possible.

This could be an exciting year for the investment and financial advisory industries. Investors are going to be depending on their advisor more now than ever before because of all the anticipated changes. Advisors are going to be cautious in making pronouncements related to investments because they are uncertain which policies will hold and which policies will change and change again.

But what is certain is that investors will want to know what their advisors know. They may want to hear their advisor’s advice before he or she knows what advice to give.

But firms and advisors must prepare for the communications demand onslaught.