Financial markets like certainty. It allows Wealth Managers to operate in a long-term time horizon; planning for retail goals such as college savings and retirement. With no clear end date for shelter in place as part of the nation’s response to COVID-19, financial markets are reacting with extreme volatility. While many professionals are staying busy with their normal business tasks, Wealth Managers are in crisis mode. Their daily tasks have shifted to keeping clients calm enough to weather the storm while needing the ability to change financial positions at a moment’s notice.
We’ll discuss these trends and the steps we’ve taken to help our Wealth Management clients through these times of uncertainty by improving internal processes to ultimately better serve their client base.
Now is the time to understand how their business stacks up against their competitors. With firms of all sizes transitioning from traditional offices to work from home the need for cloud based services has never been greater. Many firms are using this as an opportunity to review their current technology stack against the needs of their clients and create strategies on how to bridge these gaps. Implementing cloud based file storage for better access to employees as well as clients through backend portals, business automation tools to streamline client on-boarding, or case management to manage client requests in a neatly organized fashion are just a few of the commonly implemented strategies.
Exercise extreme due diligence in order to make real time decisions with the most up to date information. With government stimulus packages, tax filing deadline extensions and numerous other changes which can impact each and every end client differently. This requires meticulous attention to detail in order to service each client appropriately. In order to do so many wealth managers are using machine learning and BI tools to analyze large sets of data against their varying financial models.
As is common in financial recessions, many investors will request to withdraw capital from certain positions to protect their assets. This is an opportunity for wealth managers to educate their clients on the various ways to protect assets aside from withdrawals. In order to provide the right recommendation to each client, wealth managers must point back to the financial goals of each individual client. For clients nearing retirement it might make sense to move their assets into Federal or Municipal bonds to persevere their wealth. With an investor in the early stages of building wealth it might make sense to move their assets into core sector equities which typically outperform the markets during times of uncertainty.
Historically, during times of economic downturn robo-advisors see an increase in new account openings and existing account inflows. It’s up to the wealth manager to prove their value in times of crisis, by guiding their clients through time of uncertainty. This is a time where over-communication is key; using weekly phone calls to their top tier clients as well as newsletters to their client base providing an update on the state of the business providing insight and security their familys’ future is safe.
With the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and the volatility of financial markets now is the time for wealth managers to provide stability in the form of financial security to their clients. While no one knows the true end to this pandemic now is the time to plan for the future. Through open and honest communication with real time information wealth managers will be able to weather the storm and come out stronger than they entered.
Regional Vice President