Advisor survey: What are your peers’ best practices during the COVID-19 crisis?

Putnam Investments, 06/18/20


Four months into the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing and work-from-home have become routine for financial advisors and many of their clients. But it wasn’t always that way.

Before the pandemic, financial advisors relied on multiple types of engagement, especially in-person interactions, to advise clients and build customer relationships. The COVID-19 crisis changed all that dramatically, and virtually overnight.

Even as parts of the economy begin to reopen, work practices of the past few months are likely to be part of the new normal for some time to come.

Now is a good time to ask: How has the role of the advisor been transformed by the crisis? How are advisors responding? And what can you do to make the most of the situation?

NMG Consulting (a global advisory firm focused on financial services) recently conducted a global Covid-19 Volatility Study. In it they surveyed 800 advisors to look at how work has changed during the crisis. Here are highlights from the report, and recommendations for how FundVisualizer can help support your best work practices today.

Client service is advisors’ #1 priority

Nearly one third of advisors surveyed identified client education, service, and consulting as their top priority during the pandemic, far ahead of other activities such as new business development. Other top priorities include managing portfolios and sending communications to clients.

Universally, advisors are fielding more questions from clients

In the United States, 94% of advisors report increased incoming contact from clients, including a significant number of clients who are new to working with advisors. Demonstrating the value of advisor advice is an important part of servicing this group.

You can use FundVisualizer to answer inquiries and support client service and education by creating personalized, shareholder-approved reports.

FundVisualizer enables you to import client portfolios, view existing holdings, create and model portfolios, and build hypotheticals. This level of personalized detail helps demonstrate the value of working with an advisor.

Click here to begin creating personalized reports for clients.

Video conferencing is essential for connecting with clients

Phone contact remains the most frequent way that advisors and clients communicate. But the pandemic has prompted advisors to rely more heavily on other communication technologies. In particular, more than a quarter of advisors have increased their use of video conferencing.

FundVisualizer is an ideal tool for videoconferencing. You can share your screen to step clients through their customized report, or create charts to help illustrate specific points related to your discussion.

To see the types of charts you can create with FundVisualizer, click here.

Client requests primarily relate to portfolio rebalancing, and advisors prepare to push back

A majority of advisors report clients requesting adjustments to their portfolio — and 80% of advisors report implementing those requests. However, just one third of advisors report implementing requests to sell-down holdings. When client questions require a nuanced response, having data to back up the discussion is important.

FundVisualizer can help prepare you for conversations about selling off investments, and it can open conversations about the value of additional investments. Use the "Top holdings" chart to see the exposure a portfolio’s funds may have with specific equities, or the "Allocation" and "Sector" charts to analyze funds’ weightings in certain areas that may be important to the client’s investment goals. To learn more about portfolio allocation and the "Top holdings" chart, in FundVisualizer, click here.

To learn more about all the ways FundVisualizer can help support your work with clients, visit FundVisualizer.com.

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