The industry pressures that have weighed on financial advisors over the last few years will continue into 2021 and beyond, especially with the lingering effects of the pandemic. Fee compression, increasing regulation, heightened competition, and the commoditization of services are all part of an inevitable trend that threatens the survivability of many advisors. From now on, advisors who fall short of clearly differentiating themselves will have a difficult time bucking the trend, and advisors who fail to put their entire focus on their client relationships may be doomed.
Unfortunately, many advisors learn too late in their careers what I have stressed numerous times—that this isn’t a money business. It is a people business! For the first several years of an advisor’s career, the focus is almost solely on acquiring product knowledge, investment expertise, and planning skills. While that is essential for building necessary competencies, too few advisors come to realize that money management is not the lifeblood of their business—their clients are.
For financial advisors, the profit is not in the financial analysis or the transactions they conduct; it’s in the relationship.