Wealth management has increasingly evolved into a relationship-focused industry. As financial information became accessible through the internet, news, and social media, the role of a financial advisor shifted from picking stocks to offering true guidance on the journey to financial literacy and confident financial decision-making.
Tied to big decisions and life’s milestones, money can be an emotional and vulnerable topic. To truly connect with today’s investors, advisors need to break through the surface of chatting about performance and understand how a client’s portfolio relates to their overall motivators and life goals.
Frequently referred to as “holistic wealth management,” building a client relationship that emphasizes a client’s whole well-being is on an undeniable rise. To better understand how advisors can adopt and incorporate effective holistic wealth management practices, CapIntel created the 2024 CapIntel Investor Engagement Report to learn more about investor motivations and desires when it comes to working with a financial advisor.
28% of investors want more personalized advice tailored to overall financial goals
Hyper-personalized services have taken over consumer experiences. From recommendations on Netflix to curated playlists on Spotify, we are inundated by tailored suggestions every day. During this cultural transformation, wealth management services have remained the same: Meet with a client, review their investment strategy, recommend some changes, track the results, and adjust as needed.
This hands-off approach to investing worked, so long as investors didn’t know any different. However, the influx of financial education online and the introduction of robo-advisors and DIY investing has shifted client behaviour and expectations.
The modern investor has different needs from those of the past—and they have different needs from one another. According to our survey results, 28% of investors desire “more personalized advice tailored to overall financial goals” from their advisor. It was the most chosen improvement that investors would like to see from their advisor, followed by “greater transparency about fees and costs” (27%) and “more financial education on investing strategies and decisions” (25%).
These results suggest that investors want a more human-centric experience. Clients want a relationship with their advisor beyond talking about investment performance and want to feel like an advisor understands them and is catering to them on a personal level.
Relationships are at the centre of the human experience—especially the client experience. When asked to rank why they continue to work with their current advisor, “trusted relationship built over time” had the most top rankings with 31% of respondents.
That said, newer advisors shouldn’t underestimate their ability to build strong client relationships, as “understands my situation/preferences well” won out as being most frequently ranked in the top three spots with 65% of respondents choosing it. “Trusted relationship built over time” followed with 59%, and “great client experience and communication” was third at 44%.
The importance of offering a superior client experience and relationship is a prominent factor in growing your business as well as maintaining it—78% of respondents chose their advisor based on a referral.
As advisors think about winning new prospects and retaining their clients, they need to prioritize the relationship-building aspects of wealth management, echoing the previously mentioned improvements of “more personalized advice tailored to overall financial goals” and “more financial education on investing strategies and decisions.”
When it comes to building the advisor-client relationship, meeting face-to-face remains most popular with 41% of respondents preferring in-person interactions. However, a desire for convenience is notable: 28% of respondents prefer emails, 18% for phone calls, 10% for video calls, and 3% for text messages. Though no singular form of remote communication came out on top, together they make up the majority.
The preference for convenience furthers the digital transformation within the wealth management industry. Technology has not only changed the level of service which a client hopes to experience but it’s unlocked new ways to receive said service. Digital advancements also mean client communication can be done wherever, and whenever.
Given that 41% of people still prefer in-person meetings, it’s imperative to exercise personalization when it comes to communication styles. Advisors should know how their client prefers to hear about their investments, including the frequency, and how they best learn and understand the information.
Luckily, the demand for personalized services does not have to result in more administrative time. Technology can help advisors improve their everyday offerings by tracking and tailoring client interactions at scale. From innovative software that helps advisors bring their advice to life with interactive graphs and meaningful context to keeping all client history and communication securely recorded in one place for compliance and relationship-building purposes, numerous tools can enhance the client experience.
In addition to providing new ways to interact, share, and communicate with clients, implementing the right platform can reduce the time spent on administrative tasks so advisors can focus on client-facing activities. Integrating a streamlined workflow and reducing the disparate software used for everyday tasks, like building investment proposals, can give advisors more time to grow their book and relationships.
We predict the wealth management industry will continue to evolve in a more relationship-centric manner, with an increasing need to focus on offering a superior client experience. Each interaction will be an opportunity for advisors to display a commitment to their client’s financial future and overall well-being.
To successfully embrace this evolution, advisors need scalable solutions that help grow their business and improve the client experience. Adopting tools that automate mundane, repeatable everyday tasks will unlock valuable client-facing time that’s necessary in today’s relationship-driven business. Furthermore, the right technology can help advisors enhance their client interactions by enabling personalization like never before.
As advisors navigate the client landscape of 2024, they should prioritize building strong client relationships rooted in trust and implement technology to help provide the level of service today’s investors demand. If they do not, advisors will fail to connect with their clients and prospects and risk offering an unsatisfactory service. Ultimately, falling behind in the evolution of wealth management.
CapIntel is a B2B fintech company, serving financial institutions across North America. Its intuitive, web-based applications are improving the overall experience for wealth professionals and investors alike. The company's mission is to elevate personal finance and a significant part of this means growing wealth through investments while creating meaningful conversations between advisors and their clients. Its platform helps financial professionals deliver transparent, data-driven, and personalized information to their clients so they can get a better understanding of their investments and feel at ease knowing their future is secured. With over 12,000 advisors and 800 wholesalers across North America on their platform, CapIntel is transforming the advisor-client experience.