Directions 2022: Five trends in the advisor-client relationship as we enter a new year


2021 has been another year of disruption. The pandemic has continued to affect lives, and supply-chain disruptions and inflation are having a far-reaching impact on the economy. As each year ends, we assess how the advisor-client relationship is shifting. And each year, we curate a collection of articles from thought leaders across the industry.

1. Covid-19’s impact on the advisor-client relationship

The way in which advisors run their practice has been in transition for a number of years, and the pandemic has accelerated the pace of that change.

ThinkAdvisor.com investigates two key trends that continues to shape the advisory profession in the years to come, including changes to the ways that consumers discover financial advisors and shifting preferences in how they receive financial advice.

2. Developing your plan for 2022

The pandemic has forced a shift in how advisors interact with clients. Virtual client meetings have more often replaced in-person ones, and this has changed the nature of the advisor-client interaction.

This shift provides advisors with an opportunity to reassess how they conduct business. Financial planning advisor and expert on client engagement Julie Littlefield discusses how this shift can provide a new opportunity for enhanced vision and a springboard for an advisor’s business to become transformative.

3. How Covid-19 will change aging and retirement

Over the past 18 months, the pandemic has been reshaping how Americans will face retirement and old age in the years to come.

The virus has “accelerated developments already under way,” says physician and entrepreneur Bill Thomas. For example, “Isolation of older people has long been a problem, but COVID has been focusing attention on the issue and adding urgency” to address it. This article discusses how the long-term impact of the pandemic will affect trends in elder-care and retirement.

4. Millennials prefer to increase reliance on advisors and automate investing

There’s good news for advisors working with younger investors. According to a recent study from Cerulli Associates, 40% of those in their 40s reported an increased interest in working with an advisor, compared with just 9% of those in their 70s.

5. Clients using mobile apps to reach advisors are happier than other investors

Advisor interaction with clients via apps is a new trend, and usage is still low across the industry, yet a J.D. Power study shows that this interaction drives higher investor satisfaction. According to the study. overall satisfaction among full-service investors who interact with their advisors via the wealth management firm’s mobile app is 40 points higher than among those who do not.

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