While many aspects of “virtual” technology have been around for a while now, recent events have sparked a renewed interest in digital ways of connecting. Particularly, more people are adopting remote business interactions, as seen by the 300%+ increase in online meeting usage. My own father, who had never joined an online meeting before two months ago, was recently explaining to me how I could use a zoom meeting to plan a virtual party for my soon-to-be one year old!
As our comfort level with technology, and in particular “virtual” grows, new opportunities open up to advisors who maintain a strong digital presence to acquire clients irrespective of physical location. A recent article by Think with Google mentions that “Wealth management customers at all levels rely heavily on digital to help them make decisions at every step of their journey, even if they don’t sign up for an account online.” Additionally,an article from Think Advisor explains that most prospects (66% of their research pool) start with multiple referrals for advisors, then immediately look them up online.
The Power of Show and Tell
Many of you probably have memories from your elementary school days of bringing your favorite toy to class and telling its story during show and tell. By allowing everyone to see it while sharing its importance, the story becomes more powerful. Similarly parents go in for career day, most times dressed according to their profession, to tell their stories for kids to better understand career paths and a specific job in particular – all to inspire their career choice. The truth is that there is a reason why a picture is worth 1000 words. People are emotional creatures, and images, videos and in person interactions activate more of our senses than just seeing words on a screen or hearing audio only (think phone calls).
As a younger investor, possibly representing that millennial crowd that was burned by the recession of 2008 and now skeptical of the market, I am a strong advocate of the “Show and Tell” strategy for advisors. After my daughter was born, I constantly started to see ads about investing and advisors. Their biggest downfall in my opinion was that I never got a sense of the difference they could make to my investing. Most do-it-yourself investors:
1. Assume they can save on costs, and
2. May not think the advisor will create extensive additional value, or manage funds in a
way that can “best protect” them from losses
What I was craving to even motivate me to take the next step was a tangible example of the difference having an advisor could make to my portfolio. Yes I’m aware that everyone’s circumstances are different, as are their risk tolerance and assets, but there’s something about seeing a “sample DIY client vs advisor” that even if it doesn’t represent me, it represents value.
Here is an example from PortfolioWise, an advisor focused platform with ETF and stock ratings, of how an advisor will be able to generate a sample Diagnostic Report* comparing two portfolios and showing not just past performance, but forward potential.
The report uses a simple, easy to understand scenario of investing a certain amount for a specified time frame (without rebalancing or swapping funds). It also shows the breakdown of the portfolio composition, the focus areas, and the forward potential according to the ETF and stock ratings for each position. I’ve used a generic portfolio name for privacy, and all the funds are not visible so the portfolio can’t be replicated. The only way to get more info is to reach out!
While I may not understand all the details at a glance, pending my familiarity with investing, something like this as a teaser would make me think about what MY personal scenario could be, and at the very least, encourage me to reach out to see if I could get a Diagnostic for my own portfolio and evaluate the advisor in the process.
The market, with all the volatility, is getting a lot of attention. Investors are likely trying to evaluate their recent decisions, and some may be considering getting an advisor or even switching from their current one. Whatever tools you use to showcase your value, now is a great time to try the Show and Tell method.
*The PortfolioWise Diagnostic Report is new functionality to be released the end of June 2020
Sash Hayman is the Head of Product for PortfolioWise, an ETF ratings system by Chaikin Analytics. She has over 15 years working in software and technology including 9 years building and leading product efforts in Energy, Travel, and FinTech companies. Previously, Sash worked as a team lead in the Vanguard Innovation Studio exploring strategic initiatives through human centered design.