David Root, CFP®
What will the life of a financial advisor look like post-virus? What will change about the way we deliver financial planning and asset management, compared to only two months ago? One of the things that I am profoundly aware of, is that we as financial advisors are in an important position to do something about the current crisis. While we can’t help with the pandemic, we can play an active and productive role in helping with the effects of the associated financial crisis.
The expertise that we have acquired over the years will prove valuable as we move forward and away from what has happened to our country and the world in 2020. That said, the real question is what will our world (figuratively and literally) look like post COVID-19?
I believe the changes in how we do business and live our lives has resulted in a whole new paradigm for financial advice. Let’s start with technology:
New technology for investing has existed for some time, and popularly labeled as ‘robo advice.’ But the acceptance of technology today requires a much deeper dive in terms of utilization. One thing I know for sure, however, is that personally delivered advice in the form of a ‘house call’ from a financial advisor has not gone out of style. Based on the hundreds of incoming and outgoing calls we’ve had with clients recently, it’s clear they have a need to talk to a real and trusted person to help deal with today’s stress.
We have moved from technology influencing how we do our jobs, to influencing what we do. Clients and their advisors will now be looking for more efficient, timely and less costly means to communicate and do business together.
Clients will be empowered. They won’t have to wait for quarterly or annual face to face meetings with their advisors anymore. They can now have a teleconference call almost on-demand when they need to review their accounts.
And because of clients’ experience with the current market implosion, good advisors will also be empowered. This has been our opportunity to show our value and if we have been successful, even technology savvy Next Gen investors will respect more than ever the role of the human element in financial advice. In fact, this has been one of our fastest growing segments for our Financial Planning services.
While millennials have led the charge in embracing technology, their baby boomer parents have often stubbornly resisted many of the tools and resources made available – until now. Out of necessity, boomers have consumed automation on a level rivaled only by later generations.
Video conferencing. Digital statements. Online accounts.
All of this opens the door for longer distance client/advisor relationships. We can be together when it’s most convenient and efficient for everyone. Real estate becomes less critical in terms of where advisors invest their resources going forward. That investment can go toward additional qualified staff and human capital being added to teams.
One of the most rewarding aspects for me has been seeing the way our team has organized, communicated and followed through on client needs in a systematic, yet personal manner. We’ve always been good at this, but out of necessity we have confirmed the critical importance of real time communication and advice delivered personally. It makes me even more optimistic for the future.
In a post-COVID 19 world, we’re all going to be OK.
Thanks for reading,
Founder and CEO
DBR & CO
David Root is Founder and CEO at DBR & CO, a Pittsburgh-based wealth management firm. If you would like to contact the author, David Root, please e-mail him at email@example.com or call 412-227-2800.
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