By Nico Strydom
Financial advisers and their clients often have divergent ideas about what the client sees as valuable in the business relationship.
A financial adviser can help a client with various aspects of financial planning, but research has found that clients expect much more from their financial adviser. This includes, inter alia, client-service experience, experience with similar clients, investment yields, a variety of services and fees and expenses.
Several studies have been done about what clients expect from financial advisers and what they value most. Research has also been done to find out what financial advisers think their clients expect of them and how this differs from their clients’ real expectations. One of the expectations clients as well as advisers regard as important is the achievement of financial goals.
Clients expect their financial advisers to buy into their financial goals and then to help them achieve them. Advisers therefore have to go to a lot of trouble to ask the right questions to learn what their client’s short- and long-term goals are and then to show that they have the knowledge and ability to help clients prioritise and achieve their goals.
Clients appreciate good communication with straight talk where financial concepts are explained to them in understandable terms. They expect financial terms to be explained thoroughly and understandably and that their adviser must have a good reputation and be recommended by others.
The studies found that maximum yields are also of great importance and value to clients while financial advisers regarded this as less important in their views on what was most important to their clients. Financial advisers, on the other hand, thought that clients attached the most value to advisers who understand them and their unique needs. Although it is important to clients, they attach much less value to this.
Clients also want to know how much they are going to pay for a financial adviser’s services and therefore expect a clear cost structure that sets out exactly what they are paying for and how much they have to pay for it. They also want somebody who is easy to talk to, can be reached easily and who acts professionally.
Other studies have found that clients also attach a lot of value to a feeling of safety and peace of mind and how the achievement of goals are progressing. In the end a client wants a financial adviser who has his or her interests at heart and can see the bigger picture.
Financial Planning Association: https://www.financialplanningassociation.org/article/journal/JUL20-Identifying-What-Investors-Value-in-a-Financial-Adviser
The Street: https://www.thestreet.com/financial-advisor-center/explaining-value-of-financial-advice-to-clients
Financial Advisor: https://www.fa-mag.com/news/what-clients-value–emotions-54291.html