As market volatility continues, your clients are likely feeling the kind of anxiety they felt during the height of the financial crisis in 2008. Advisors are indicating that clients are paralyzed, not interested in making any investments; mutual funds are indicating that retail clients have been pulling money out of the U.S. equity funds for five years running. Many investors have lost faith in financial institutions and it appears that fear is growing. What can an advisor do? They are still responsible for assisting their clients in making sound investment decisions that will help them meet the long-term financial objectives.
Advisors must remain pro-active at all times and should consider the following:
Communicate with your clients frequently. Nothing is more important. Let them know you clearly understand what they are going through and that you are always there to help.
Show your clients what you are capable of doing as this is the time they need you the most. Studies have shown that, when the market is doing well, less than 3 percent of investors are unhappy with there advisors. But, in bad times, that number can soar to 30, 40, or even 50 percent.
Educate your client. Offer historical perspective and varied product alternatives to provide your clients with a way to potentially hedge against the market volatility. You should also reexamine the client’s overall financial objectives, especially if their net worth has declined (or increased) significantly. If possible, meet with them face-to-face. Taking the time to meet with them quarterly or as needed will help strengthen the relationship.
And finally, ask for referrals. If you have done your job properly there is no better time to ask your client if there might be someone else that could use your help.
The average financial advisor is among the nation’s top 5 percent of earners. So, if it were an easy job, everyone would be doing it. However, now is the time advisors can see their skill, knowledge, judgment and experience pay off; if not immediately then down the road.