Should FAs Allow Clients’ Political Opinions to Influence Their Investment Decisions?

Should FAs Allow Client's Political Opinions to Influence their Investment Decisions?

Here we are again—another presidential election year. If it’s like the last couple of elections, financial advisors are sure to see some clients wringing their hands over which candidate will win the White House and how that will impact the financial markets and their investments. At the very least, you’re likely to get an earful of some clients’ political viewpoints—which is fine if they don’t try to correlate them with how they should invest their money.

For decades, investors have tried to find some correlation between elections and investment performance, hoping it will foretell how a particular outcome will impact their portfolio so they can adjust their investment strategy appropriately.

Of course, if you search far enough, you might be able to uncover data that supports such a link. But you’re not going to find any that decisively shows a causal relationship or enough of one to warrant serious consideration for changing investment strategies based on election results. Still, some clients have such strong political views that they see a connection in all aspects of their lives, including how they invest their money.

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To Win More Prospects, Show Them You Are the Goals-centric Advisor Clients Want

To Win More Prospects, Show Them You Are the Goals-centric Advisor Clients Want

As a financial advisor, you have one job and one job only—to help your clients achieve their financial goals. At least, that’s how your clients see it. That’s according to a research study by Morningstar, which revealed what clients value most in an advisor. Advisors would be well-served to keep that in mind in their efforts to win over more prospects.

Next on the list of what clients value most from an advisor is “skills and knowledge,” followed by “maximizing returns.” Unquestionably those are essential attributes. However, the study indicates that prospects may put less weight on them if you fail to check off the one they deem most important—helping them to achieve their goals.

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How to Raise Conversations Your Clients Don’t Know They Should Have

How to Raise Conversations Your Clients Don’t Know They Should Have

Most clients hire a financial advisor because they expect him or her to know more than they do about planning their future. They willingly pay you to leverage your expertise to educate them and guide their financial decisions based on your understanding of their circumstances, goals, and concerns. They expect you to help them navigate obstacles that pop up unexpectedly.

Most clients don’t know what they don’t know, which is their greatest vulnerability. That means they don’t know enough to ask their financial advisor about things that could potentially impact them. If they’re left in the dark about such things, the financial advisor takes the blame when bad things happen. What is their defense when a client asks, “Why didn’t you tell me about that?”

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Keys to Building Life-Long Loyalty with Clients

Keys to Building Life-Long Loyalty with Clients

Successful financial advisors know that client retention is vital for sustaining and growing their business. Replacing a client who leaves with a new client is expensive and hard work, costing five to 25 times more than retaining an existing one. Success at retaining clients enables advisors to focus on delivering value to them instead of having to pursue new clients.

However, advisors who shoot for a high client retention rate, as crucial as that may be, might be falling short of the mark. Building client loyalty is much more critical. Is that a difference without a distinction? What does it mean when you have a client’s loyalty?

Many clients stick around for various reasons:

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Keep Your Clients Focused on What’s Knowable and Important

Keep Your Clients Focused on What’s Knowable and Important

The media has always run rampant with scary headlines. That’s how they increase readership or website traffic. However, in this period of increased market volatility, economic uncertainty, geopolitical upheaval, mixed COVID signals, and deepening political divisions, the headlines can be incredibly overwhelming or, at the very least, extremely distracting.

Trying to consume all the news coming at us 24/7 is like trying to drink from a firehose. It’s critical to understand that the barrage of bad news and hype around market events can trigger emotional reactions that often lead to making costly decisions around their finances.

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When Presenting Clients with Options, Less Is More

When Presenting Clients with Options, Less Is More

We live at a time when people like to have choices. The internet affords people a seemingly unlimited number of choices for anything they desire, and they will surf the Web for hours searching for the perfect option. That may be fine when searching for consumer products, vacation options, or the best roads to take to their destination. But, when it comes to finding the right financial solutions, too many options often lead to “analysis paralysis.” In the financial realm, where the stakes are often high, too many choices can make people fearful of choosing the wrong one, increasing the likelihood they’ll choose to do nothing.

Financial advisors are sometimes complicit in creating analysis by paralysis by offering their clients too many options. It’s not intentional. There very well could be several good options for addressing a particular situation they feel their clients need to consider in many cases. Sometimes, advisors think it’s necessary to present multiple options to let their clients know they’ve covered all the bases. And in some cases, advisors have the impression that clients like to have options.

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Conquering Your Clients’ Financial Fears

Conquering Your Clients' Financial Fears

One of the most powerful emotions we all experience is fear. When it comes to our finances, fear can drive us to make decisions we later regret. More often, fear leads to decision paralysis when we retreat to the comfort of indecision or simply bury our heads in the sand.

To many people, their financial future is a threat to their well-being – the fear of not being able to retire, the possibility of losing one’s job, or being forced into early retirement. These are all financial threats that breed the worst kind of fear. Many people cope with them by doing everything they can to avoid them. That can be a lot easier than facing their fears, especially if they lack confidence in solving the problem.

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Prospect Objections Are Often a Cry for Help. Your Job Is to Help Them.

Prospect Objections Are Often a Cry for Help. Your Job Is to Help Them.

As a financial advisor, you are valued for your expert knowledge, but you are only as effective as your ability to get your prospects and clients to act on your recommendations. If you can’t, their situations won’t improve, and neither will yours. Many financial advisors in that situation might chalk it up to them being “bad” prospects and move on, but aren’t they abdicating their role as an advisor?

Certainly, advisors shouldn’t use strongarm tactics to turn their prospects around, but shouldn’t they at least understand the reason behind the objection? Could they learn some valuable insights that would help resolve the issue, if not for the prospect in front of them, but for similar situations they encounter in the future?

In the financial advisory business, objections come with the territory. They’re often just knee-jerk reactions from clients hesitant to make a change. Prospects often don’t understand the real reason behind their objection—they’re just not comfortable moving forward. As an advisor, your job is to help them acknowledge the real reason so they can place it in the context of what you have offered them.

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Convincing Clients of the Futility of Market Timing

Convincing Clients of the Futility of Market Timing

We will probably never admit it, but most of us are lousy timers, and, of course, none of us can predict the future. How often have you tried to shift your way through stop and go freeway traffic to end up in the slowest lane again? For investors who try to time the market, the actual costs of underperformance and lost opportunity are invariably greater than the potential benefit.

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Helping Clients Understand the Normalcy of Market Corrections

Helping Clients Understand the Normalcy of Market Corrections

As a financial advisor, you work closely with your clients to craft investment strategies tailored to their objectives and risk profiles, and then monitor them over time. That very well may be the easy part of your client relationship. The more significant challenge you have as an advisor is to make sure your clients stay the course with their strategy even in the midst of a steep market correction.

One of the primary responsibilities of a financial advisor is to convey to their clients that the only concern they should have about a market downturn is not how deep it falls or how long it lasts, but how they react to it. After all, no one can predict when a market correction will occur, but we know that it will. After the longest bull market in history, clients tend to forget that stock prices can go down as well as up, and that market corrections are quite normal. That confers upon advisors the responsibility of educating their clients on the inevitability of market corrections and how they should react to them.

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