|Defining Risk Through Purpose Will Change The Way You Serve Clients And Enhance The Investment Strategies You Recommend|
|Thursday, May 10, 2012 15:25|
A perfect triangle of transitions is going on. We have the largest wealth transfer in history; increasing business succession and transition to new leadership; and a radical transition in the way you do business with your clients. That’s a lot to take in, much less to manage.
All of this change involves risk. Change and risk also bring opportunity. It’s the most exciting time in the history of our industry. An overview of new research may help you see how it all fits together for the benefit of your clients…and for you.
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What wealth means to our clients is important. And the investment strategies we design for them need to match their interpretation of the role wealth plays in their lives. It lies at the heart of fiduciary service.
New studies from Campden and Morgan Stanley and from MFS confirm that different generations have different views on both of those fronts. Let’s take a quick look at three areas where those views are having the greatest impact.
Generation gap. Contrary to what older gens might believe, 79% of Echo Boomers want to be good stewards. They also want to be involved in decisions made about the wealth.
Many are not happy with the transition plans their elders have designed. In the 30 – 39 age group, 25% do not like the way their family’s wealth is being managed and 43% do not agree with transition plans. This compares to 84% of those between ages 40 to 49 who do.
These are important factors if the wealth is to be transitioned successfully. Purpose and wealth go hand-in-hand.
Younger generations also worry that wealth will taint their relationships. Gender also was a factor here, with 79% of women concerned compared to 22% of men.
Becoming targets of disreputable people concerned 50% of women and only 28% of men. Forty-three percent of women worry that their wealth will be mismanaged compared to 22% of men.
Approach to doing business: New generations have little interest in quarterly meetings or periodic performance reports. These will be replaced by cloud-based documents that provide instant updates.
Face-to-face meetings will be supplanted by video conferencing and phone calls. Personal interaction will become more important and more frequent but will occur through different media.
Client acquisition will come from exposure through online and social networks. The ability to attract new clients will stem from strong relationship skills and delivering results that create advocates.
You will no longer be gatekeepers. Nor will traditional business building techniques drive business growth. Instead, you will become peers with your clients and partner with them to build knowledge and discernment.
Discernment will require understanding clients’ relationships to their wealth and what they expect it to do for them.
Understanding investments and investment strategies: Investment products are too complex and investors are overwhelmed by myriad choices.
Thirty-five percent of investors say online information is as good as their advisors’. But they need you to provide knowledge and perspective.
Generationally, this is true of 51% of Echoes, 39% of Gen-Xers, and 40% of Boomers. Sixty-two percent of all investors would like to be more knowledgeable and 81% expect you to keep them updated on new opportunities and products.
To manage these changes and the risks they present to clients’ wealth and to the growth of our businesses, we have to become more fluid. We have to let go of traditional ways of doing things.
Above all, we have to get to the heart of our clients’ relationships with their wealth.