What Should We Talk About?

7/13/2020

When an investor meets with their financial advisor, what do they really want to talk about?  For many years financial advisors have presumed that investors want to talk about investments.  After all, that is generally the basis of the relationship and the expertise of the financial advisor.  But is this still true?  With financial providers expanding their level of expertise regarding multiple topics and financial planning gaining in importance, should investments be the center of the conversation between investors and advisors?

The answer is “yes, but….”.  In Spectrem’s report, Communicating with Advisors and Providers, when investors were asked to rate various topics they were interested in discussing with their financial advisor, you can see below the over 30% of investors identified “Investments” as the #1 topic they would like to discuss with their advisor.  Following behind that was “Income generation during retirement”, “Planning for retirement” and “Current economic events and their impact on my wealth”.


As you can see above, the above-mentioned topics were identified as #1 topics, however, there are multiple topics that investors would like to discuss with their advisor in addition to those topics identified as #1.  “Estate planning” and “Lifestage information pertaining to my financial health” were identified by many investors.  “Healthcare costs in retirement” and “Multi-generational wealth transfer” also were of interest to many investors.

Advisors need to be sure to reach out to investors and identify exactly what is of interest to investors.  Many investors may fear that they are wasting the time of the advisor or that there may be an additional charge to discuss issues broader than their investments.  Be sure to provide an environment in which they feel comfortable asking questions regarding multiple topics.  It may lead to an even greater share of wallet for the advisor once the investor understands that the advisor and his firm have a greater amount of knowledge than just investments.

*Included in Spectrem’s research subscriptions.