Time is an advisor’s greatest resource, and yet there’s never enough. According to a Kitces Report Survey, financial planners spend an average of just 8.8 hours per week meeting with existing clients and 17.9 hours researching investments, preparing for client meetings, and doing post-meeting follow-up.
Hours spent per week by typical Financial Advisor
At the same time, clients are expecting greater access to advisors. In a 2017 study by Broadridge Financial Solutions, investors emphasized that clients want the same 24/7 customer experience from investment partners that they are receiving from Silicon Valley. An "advanced use of digital technology and analytics" was also among the most sought-after attribute for advisors.
To boost the customer experience with their clients, advisors must make more efficient use of their preparation time and better leverage new technology for both analysis and presenting to clients.
How can you increase efficiency?
High-tech advisors are making more extensive use of digital tools to increase the efficiency of their research (substantially reducing their preparation time), and are employing those tools to be more innovative when meeting with clients.
Here are five ways to improve the customer experience for your clients and increase your efficiency using the digital tool FundVisualizer® (free, advisor-only, with access to more than 30,000 mutual funds).
1. Explore new investment opportunities
Traditionally, the analysis of new investment ideas for clients was a time-intensive and tedious process, but new tools dramatically simplify the exploration of new investments.
With FundVisualizer, the simplest way to discover new investment opportunities for your clients is with the enhanced Explore feature. With Explore, simply type in a fund name, ticker, or category to find funds within a similar Morningstar category or share class.
Within Explore, use the advanced filters to quickly retrieve relevant performance data. For example, you can specify a range for returns versus category and index. You can filter by alpha and beta, standard deviation, and R-squared, as well as ratios like Sharpe ratio, downside capture, information ratio, and expense ratio.
2. Model portfolios and create hypotheticals
FundVisualizer makes it easier to model the historical returns of different portfolio allocations.
With FundVisualizer, as you conduct your analysis for clients, use the Portfolio option in the Compare feature to quickly compare those historical returns and allocations models.
Once you’ve set up a portfolio to compare, adjust your allocations and select a chart to visualize historical returns. Click "Edit assumptions" to model the initial investment, periodic contributions, or withdrawals. You can also analyze performance before or after sales charges, set a rebalance frequency, and see the impact on portfolios.
3. Save time by importing your existing spreadsheets
A well-designed tool lets you perform analysis on investment data you’ve already set up. FundVisualizer enables you to import fund data from a spreadsheet you previously created, directly into the tool for further comparisons, modeling, or other analysis.
4. Quickly craft client presentations to share on an iPad
The Broadridge report makes it clear that clients expect advisors to make “advanced use of digital technology.” Tech-savvy advisors often make client presentations on an iPad or tablet. FundVisualizer facilitates this process by enabling rapid preparation of client-facing reports that are automatically formatted for display on these devices.
With the PDF creator, add your saved charts, create a custom cover sheet, and share directly with your client (the PDF output automatically includes disclosures for compliance).
5. Explore the potential of new technology
As client expectations continue to grow, the tools to help you analyze client investment ideas continue to leverage the power of new technology. FundVisualizer is leading the way with beta implementations of cutting-edge technology like natural language interaction and machine learning.
FundVisualizer’s first play in the machine-learning/artificial intelligence space is the Intelligent Assistant, which provides the user a way to interact with the Explore feature by speaking rather than typing. The Intelligent Assistant will continuously “learn” how users search and filter fund searches to help provide better results over time. While this feature is in its beta stage, the technology has a promising future.
Enhancing client interactions — the cornerstone of success in 2020
Increasing the time you spend interacting with clients and more effectively meeting their expectations when you do interact are two cornerstones of success in 2020. And reducing the time you spend researching to prepare for those client calls can dramatically drive increased interaction with clients. Tech-savvy advisors are using use digital tools like FundVisualizer to both improve the quality of analysis and reduce the time spent on research. It’s a win-win approach for boosting client focus.
Putnam Retail Management.