Le torse d'un homme d'affaire, sa main en évidence. Il joue avec un petit sablier.

Planning: don’t wait for customers to ask you to fill in the gaps



A solid financial plan can and should consider as many as 15 things, he notes, and some examples are basic things like tax and estate planning, business planning where applicable, retirement projections, life insurance needs, critical illness and long-term health care planning, and debt planning.

This is not a new concept, agrees James Fraser, but a JD Power study on investor satisfaction, published in May 2022, contains some distressing data. Of the more than 4,000 Canadian investors surveyed for this study, the report found that only 7% of respondents had received all of the elements considered part of a comprehensive advice – even though 40% said or believed that their advisors offered comprehensive services.

One of the reasons for this gap is that investors are becoming more sophisticated and their needs are more complex, explains James Fraser. So he suggests advisors get ahead of the game to show that they “see the big picture and make sure clients are in a great position. »

While there is a place for functional advice in more transactional relationships between advisors and clients – think of certain insurance products, James Fraser recommends – “there is plenty of opportunity for ambitious planners to expand their range,” increasing customer loyalty and referrals.

One example is the use of technology, he suggests. “I’m always surprised how many advisors don’t want to give their clients a lot of features [via des tableaux de bord ou des portails]. They worry about their role or their position as advisors. »

But having customers explore their priorities and engage is valuable, Fraser insists. What you risk by not integrating the technology is having customers wondering, “Am I missing something? Is my advisor not using the best tools available? »

Another challenge is the difficulty clients have in understanding the value propositions of their advisors. This is a particularly big hurdle when financial plans and advice are static or outdated.

“A challenge for planners is to keep the plans alive,” James Fraser points out. Not only is it inevitable that people’s lives will change, but there may be changes in the law and in the economy. “For the plans to be convincing [pour les investisseurs], we must in particular ensure that they evolve with them. »

Given people’s experiences with the pandemic and as industry pressure mounts due to the growth of self-directed investment platforms and regulation, for example, highlighting a “knowledge intimate” of the lives and goals of customers to stay relevant, he summarizes.

For advisers who offer comprehensive planning, the question is how to adapt this offer to client demand. And this is where building multidisciplinary teams and/or collaborating with external partners comes into play, according to James Fraser.

“You want customers to come to you when they’re anticipating things” or when they want to learn, he explains, “and not [parce que] you don’t react or act. »

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