Financial advisers offer enormous value to their clients. They provide insightful and responsive advice – something artificial intelligence can’t always do.
Here are ten things, vital to helping clients achieve their financial goals, that only financial advisers can do:
1. Truly understand clients
Each client is an individual with their own emotions and their own financial circumstances and financial needs. These emotions can only truly be understood by a human financial adviser. This information can then be used to assist in the completion of a relevant and suitable financial needs analysis and financial plan for the client. In the case of 1Plan, the 1Life FNA, the plan does not only consider the life stages of the client, but also models affordability on top of life stage planning.
2. Explain costs and compare products
There is no substitute for a human explanation and professional expertise. When it comes to costs, financial advisers can explain what these are and what they mean for certain products, such as the impact of costs on investment returns. Financial advisers can use examples to explain, adapt those examples and make sure clients know which costs apply, when. Advisers can also compare products, and explain the differences so clients can appreciate why some products are more suitable than others.
3. Improve clients’ financial knowledge
Financial advisers can quickly identify how much financial knowledge a client has, and know how to work with them to develop this knowledge. This is critical in assisting clients make informed decisions, which helps clients commit to their financial plans.
4. Give sound, appropriate advice
Only qualified, certified, trained and accredited financial advisers can give sound, appropriate, and up-to-date advice. This advice is the hallmark of financial advisers – it’s their core service and product, and what they are trained and equipped to offer. Perhaps most importantly, this advice is based on the client’s need and circumstances.
Did you know: It isn’t only older clients who prefer advice from a human, a Vanguard study found that preference for human advice run across generations!
5. Be accountable and hold clients to account
Financial advisers follow guidelines, codes and procedures when issuing recommendations. This means they are not only offering appropriate guidance, but also that they can be held accountable. Financial advisers can also hold clients to account for their financial decisions, follow up with them to see how they are following their financial plan and assess how on track they are to meet their financial goals.
6. Adapt quickly to changing situations
Let’s face it, humans are masters at adapting quickly and dealing with challenges. 2020 and 2021 proved this, and showed that resilience is a uniquely human trait that can add value to many clients. When traditional routes of business and communication close, it is the human financial adviser who adapts first to the change and offers alternatives. When markets are volatile, clients turn to experts for advice and support.
7. Empathise with clients
“Three times as many investors report having strong peace of mind when it comes to working with a human adviser as compared to going it alone.” Robo or human advice study
It takes a human to connect and empathise with another human. Humans “get” humans. Advisers know what it feels like to have financial worries and questions about how to achieve financial security, financial goals and generational wealth. Financial advisers can connect with their clients and take into account their feelings about their current financial situation and their financial hopes and dreams, to help them achieve good financial outcomes.
8. Offer emotional support
In addition to empathising with clients, advisers offer much needed emotional support. Clients need support throughout their financial lives – from choosing products to helping with claims. The COVID-19 years showed how important financial advisers are in not only offering technical support, ensuring a smooth claims process, but also emotional support. Advisers are a shoulder to lean on, someone to talk to and someone to share feelings with.
9. Communicate relevant information
Financial advisers have the ability to listen to clients and industry experts, and identify and share relevant information. Advisers can relate to experts, clients with little financial knowledge, and everyone in between. Advisers know which information must be shared with clients, as well as which clients need regular communication, such as a regular newsletter or social media post.
10. Partner with clients for life
Many personal professional relationships last a lifetime, such as with a GP or dentist, or a financial adviser. Partnering with a client for life gives advisers better insights into their financial needs and circumstances, and gives clients a sense of security – which bodes well for achieving financial goals. Of course, advisers need succession plans so their clients know they will be looked after if the adviser is no longer around.
Accessible, professional, human advisers inspire loyalty
Financial advisers who are accessible and take time with their clients inspire lifelong loyalty. There are many changes and new ideas that financial advisers encounter, on a daily basis. But over time, their value has increased and clients know that financial advisers add more than just monetary value – they help them achieve good financial outcomes and offer true peace of mind.