We see a lot of portfolio strategist literature every week but AAMA has gone above and beyond with an effort to help ground-level advisors understand who they are, what they do and how to succeed by reaching beyond vanilla index funds. Their most recent thoughts follow.
In any service industry, happy clients are the life blood of your business.
And in financial services, where our investors’ livelihood is at play, there’s very little margin for error in the client experience we create.
But between juggling hats—from prospecting to market oversight and attending to clients—creating a consistently positive client experience across your book is hard.
So with so much at stake and a difficult task at hand, what can you do?
Make full use of the resources at your disposal. If you outsource some or all of your investment management, you have access to a swath of untapped insight and service support that can take your client experience to the next level.
Scenarios Where Strategists Can Support The Client Experience
Think about your favorite football team. On Sunday, how many coaches do you see on the sideline?
A bunch. And that’s the best way to think about working with your strategist partners.
In your advisory business, you’re the head coach. You call the shots. It’s your team. But that doesn’t mean you can’t call in the help of specialized support staff to get the “W”. There are a lot of aspects to a positive client experience, and strategist partners can help you support the investment journey in a number of ways.
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Here are a few scenarios where your strategist partners can help create a positive client experience:
Reduce Investor Anxiety In Uncertainty
Uncertainty places great stress on the client experience, but also provides unique opportunities to build trust. When the market becomes volatile, and investment outlooks are unknown, one of the best things you can do is remove any confusion from client portfolios.
Reach out to your strategist partner for commentary on their portfolios’ performance (good and bad). Get their portfolio managers on the phone, walk through their recent investment moves, and ask what moves their considering in the future. Passed on to your clients, this clarity can create that all-important feeling of assurance—assurance that their portfolios are being managed strategically.
And for the top 10% of clients that are responsible for 80% of your assets, don’t be afraid to bring strategist partners into your calls. That direct access can create a premium experience, and further solidify trust.
Help You Win New Business
People don’t buy with their heads. They buy with their hearts (and gut). That’s only accentuated in services, like financial advice.
Bringing a strategist partner (or two or three) into prospect conversations can help you create that intangible feeling that clients seek: focus, care, and competence.
By meeting the people behind the investments, the portfolio is brought to life. The direct contact between client and strategist can create clarity in the investment strategy, demonstrate the layers of specialization and discipline you offer, and communicate your focus on them, as a valued client.
But What About Value?
Some advisors express reservation here, but at Advanced Asset Management Advisors (AAMA), we’ve seen nothing but positive response in the client meetings we’ve joined. Rather than take the advisor out of focus, strategist presence at the meetings only elevates the total offering delivered to clients—and that’s what clients are seeking, a quality experience.
Understand Market Nuances That May Impact Your Book
A strategist’s value lies in their knowledge, but more importantly, their focus. Strategists have the luxury of “sitting in a room” all day and thinking about the market and their investment strategy. Financial advisors don’t often have that luxury. Your time is filled with client calls, prospecting activity, and account management.
That’s why it’s important to use your strategist partners as a fast-track resource for market insight. And I don’t mean reading their commentary.
We think advisors should get in the habit of reaching out to their strategist partners with any timely question about the market, and more specifically, their specialization within the market.
For example, we are a fundamental investment manager with a deep focus on market pricing and sector valuation. An advisor could easily leverage us as a resource for sector, fund, or stock valuation.
Being a smaller, more focused firm, advisors don’t have to go through layers of our organization to speak with the people who actually manage our portfolios.
This accessibility can greatly reduce market research time, getting you back to managing clients and growing your business.
Design Well-Balanced Portfolios
Most strategists know that they aren’t going to capture 100% of a UMA portfolio. Rather, we are a piece of a well-diversified pie. Most strategists are also well-acquainted with other managers on the investment platform you’re using.
What does that mean?
Strategists can be extremely helpful in your portfolio design process. We know our portfolios and we know what our portfolios work well with. Your strategists partner should be able, and willing, to help you identify and evaluate complementary portfolio options.
Finding The Right Strategist Partners
Remember. You (the advisor) are strategists’ client. Are you being treated like one that is valued?
Partnering with a strategist shouldn’t feel like buying commodities off a shelf. It should feel like a true service—where your partners work with you, hand-in-hand, to create better experiences for your clients.
So if you’re outsourcing investment management to strategists partners, take advantage. That’s what we are here for!