Are you digitally connected?

Advisers need to reconsider the way they connect with their clients digitally, new research suggests.

Friday, July 17th 2015, 6:00AM 2 Comments

by Susan Edmunds

Australia’s Association for Financial Advisers has released a white paper in conjunction with insurer Zurich, called Connected Convenience.

It looks at the use of mobile devices among financial adviser clients.

AFA chief executive Brad Fox warned that advisers needed to find new ways to stay top-of-mind in an evolving marketplace. "The need to stay relevant at all times is growing, because there are so many ways for a client to be distracted away from their current adviser. So if you aren't staying in their life between the 12-monthly catch-ups, then you will not be doing 12-monthly catch-ups soon," he said at the launch of the white paper.

The research found that financial advisers’ clients were more likely to use smartphones and tablets than the general public. Almost all of financial advice clients aged under 55 have a smartphone, 80% of 55 to 64-year-old clients have one and 54% of baby boomer clients. But 62% of high net-worth baby boomer clients own a smartphone.

Half of financial advice clients own a tablet, compared to 37% of the general public.

The AFA said advisers should tailor their communication strategies to the generation of clients they were dealing with. But it said there was a strong preference for digital communication among clients across all generations. Apps and social media were the second-most preferred “one to many” means of communication after electronic newsletters for baby boomers.

Advisers should consider the number of channels they were using to communicate – communicating through more channels had greater effect, the paper said.

Just under half of financial advice clients connect to businesses via email, 39% via LinkedIn, 32% via Facebook, 29% via Twitter and 26% via text message.

Tags: communication Financial Advisers Act

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Comments from our readers

On 18 July 2015 at 8:30 am traveller said:
Every adviser should read Mary Holm's article in today's NZ Herald. It's a wake up call.
On 20 July 2015 at 1:16 pm LPL said:
Traveller - I'm not sure what the Mary Holm's article has to do with electronic connection. However, the piece is concerning because:

1. The individual while clearly quite happy to publicly complain about the service they got, they didn't seem able to ask questions about a process (risk profiling) that they went through on a number of occasions with different individuals; even though they said they didn't understand it.
They also said they didn't understand the fees; I find this quite perplexing and it made me wonder if the letter was made up. Disclosure requires that fees are clearly stated (for example if you are charging a percentage fee - say 0.25% then you must also illustrate what this is in dollar terms - $250.00 for $100,000 invested).

Given that the individual complaining didn't ask questions, and appears to have a poor understanding of maths any adviser would be concerned about "hand-holding" her (as she suggested) into more "aggressive/growth" investments.

In my opinion this is a high risk client (no knowledge - wanting to take significant risk without experience, against type; who has demonstrated they are happy to complain).

If I read correctly Mary Holm's has asked for letters about advisers and is referring these to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. Lets hope that the outcome is more education for would be investors rather than more adviser flogging.

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