Change is happening very quickly in the financial services advice area in the form of stricter regulations, downward pressure on fees and the increasing use of technology.
For many financial brokers, while change always provokes anxiety, it offers an opportunity to enhance our value and build deeper relationships with our clients.
This means offering a spectrum of high-touch services from behavioural coaching to full scale wealth management to help deepen the trust our clients have in us.
Developing a high level of trust is important in moving our business forward by extending the life of our client relationships and by generating more referrals.
In order to maximise an advisers alpha [the extra benefit advisers bring to their clients], advisers have recognised they must embrace technology.
The clear historical trend in every industry is that basic or repetitive tasks are invariably outsourced to machines, resulting in more and more advanced tasks being performed by people.
That trend is likely to continue in the financial services advice area.
Technology will allow advisers time to develop the advanced skills that are likely to remain human and advanced tasks will dominate the work of the future.
In the emerging environment of sophisticated technology and fiduciary responsibilities to clients, advisers are spending more time identifying those clients who require different types of advice and attention.
Using technology to streamline portfolio-centric tasks is freeing up advisers to give more time to providing clients with deeper, more complex and more carefully considered advice than ever before.
As part of this trust-building process, financial brokers are seeking to perfect their behavioural coaching skills.
Clients, particularly young ones, need guidance on how to understand the inherent risks of investing and how to manage anxiety when markets turn volatile.
Some clients have historically exhibited performance-chasing behaviour that, studies show, is damaging to investment returns.
Advisers will unfailingly remind their clients of the realities of investing and thereby add value in the form of better outcomes.
Financial brokers are focusing on additional services like tax and estate planning; addressing insurance needs; charitable-giving planning and business succession or sale planning.