C Is For A Customized Client Experience: Looking At The Holistic Planning Services Advisors Now Provide

If there is one experience common to us all during the global pandemic, it is that the spread of COVID-19 around the world caused everyone—young or old, rich or poor, male or female—to reassess our priorities. There is nothing quite like being confined to your home for weeks at a time with only your closest family members (or perhaps just a pet) for company, to realize what you really value.

And for each of us, what we value—what we prioritize in our lives—is different. We all have our own problems to solve. Each of us has our own set of goals, our own preferences, and each of our circumstances is different. Depending on our experience through the pandemic, those goals, and preferences and circumstances may have changed.

That’s why we revised our Value of an Advisor study this year. While our tried-and-true formula remains the same – A+B+C+P+T – we have changed the value of C from cost of investment management to focus on the customized client experience and planning that advisors now provide.

In our earlier blogs on our Value of an Advisor study, we discussed the value of actively rebalancing a portfolio, and the behavioral mistakes that advisors steer their clients away from making during volatile times.

By changing the value of C, not only do we want to acknowledge the uniqueness of each investor, but we also want to acknowledge the expanding role of advisors to providing holistic wealth management for entire families.

At one time, an advisor was essentially a broker—selecting investments for clients. In short, advisors used to play the role that a robo-advisor does. That role is still necessary: services such as asset allocation, security selection and portfolio construction remain the building blocks of any successful investment strategy. All three are critical for hitting a client’s financial goals.

We also recognize that robo-advisors are making these three building blocks more accessible and affordable than ever. But here’s the thing: Investments are only one component of a comprehensive financial strategy. Wealth managers do so much more these days. Recent research has shown that in the past three years, there has been a 39% increase in advisors providing comprehensive planning services.