A person’s relationship with money can get complicated. You don’t need me to tell you that. Many of you are financial professionals with first-hand experience of how complex financial advice can become.
It’s not just the mechanics that are complex, either; it’s the way people think – and feel – about money that matters too. That fact was brought home to me afresh this week by two articles on financial advice.
The first, here in The Economist, argues that the need for financial advice may be more psychological than practical. I’m sure that there are quite a few IFAs, not to mention confused consumers, that would argue that point, but there is some sense in what they have to say.
Faced with a tower of evidence that shows how hard it is to predict financial markets, The Economist questions the sense of paying for financial advice,
“The average active-fund manager fails to beat the stock market index; no reliable way has been found for selecting above-average managers in advance. Yet investors are still willing to pay for the services of active managers.”
Well, it might have something to do with the avoidance of regret. If you consult an expert, you have someone to blame if things go wrong. There are also, of course, a whole host of reasons why genuine financial advice is needed. Tax, pensions or fund choices all baffle the best of us so advice – however untested – is welcomed with open arms.
What’s more, that advice is valued above advice from almost anyone else, as shown by the latest results from the John Hancock Trust Survey.
The poll results, pictured above, found that people trust their financial advisor more than even their doctor or accountant. 84% said they “trust strongly” their financial advisor, which is a glowing endorsement of the advice industry.
So, on the one hand we’ve learnt that people value advice as much for the feeling of security and reassurance it offers as for the actual impact on their financial position. What’s more, we know that that reassurance runs so deep as to make financial advisers some of the most trusted people in our day to day lives.
You may be wondering how this fits in with our recent theme of client reporting.
Well, quite simply, it’s because great communication is at the heart of establishing trust. Just as financial advice provides more than just factual market predictions; client reports do more than just report performance.
Beautiful data and outstanding client reports matter because the way you report on performance is one of the key ways in which you can promote trust and demonstrate excellence; and it’s not just about personal clients. Institutional investors need just as much reassurance as personal ones – more, in fact, because it’s other people’s money at stake.
Delivering an outstanding client reporting package to your institutional investors offers several tangible benefits – the ability to customise information, for example, or use advanced analytical tools – but it runs much deeper than that.
Client reporting is about showcasing everything that’s good about your business. It’s an opportunity to wow investors and reassure your clients. It’s an opportunity to stand head and shoulders above the rest and it’s an invitation to nail business efficiency, customer satisfaction and cost control in a single move.
If you haven’t already, check out our slideshare channel and read Client reporting: Exceeding client expectations for a brighter future and then get in touch with Kurtosys to begin your journey to the head of the pack today.