Financial Advisor Marketing & Technology

Marketing & Technology For Independent Financial Advisors

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Archive for October, 2014

How To Reinforce Good Investor Behavior Regularly

With TV, social media, and financial news portals relentlessly undermining advisor relationships and bombarding investors with a confusing cacophony of wealth management tips, regularly reinforcing good investor behavior is the right thing to do for your clients, and it also happens to be the smart thing to do for yourself.

So we’ve literally made it effortless for advisors to reinforce good behavior once a week. We’ve added a new feature to the weekly update email that allows advisors  to send their contacts a message every Friday at 6 p.m. ET that gently reinforces best practices that are aligned with a financial professional’s perspective. The new version of the weekly update includes two links to leading financial news sites, as always, but now the third link in the update is an email campaign integrated with advisor websites.

The weekly email update is a way to fight back at financial noise. It allows you to send your contacts timely, authoritative content for UHNWIs. UHNWIs need content about investing, retirement income and tax minimization; they don’t care whether you write. The just want concise intelligent ideas. Providing quality content enhances your credibility and demonstrates a commitment to education, satisfying basic requirements of successful Internet marketing.

Advisor Products weekly email update has long been popular with advisors. Since September 2001, we’ve summarized the performance of major indices and linked to three articles about the week’s investment news.

The new feature adds a link in an advisor’s weekly email update newsletter to articles on advisor websites, which are written by Advisor Products with the aim of reinforcing good financial habits.

After stock prices swung wildly several consecutive days last week, Friday’s email update included an article by Advisor Products reporting that the correction had occurred in the face of strengthening economic data. The FINRA-reviewed article lists positive economic data released in September and October. It’s a reminder  to your contacts that a change in investor sentiment can cause corrections and even bear markets, but that economic fundamentals matter most to investors in the long run, and that fundamentals were strong when the correction hit.

Addressing the financial headlines in your weekly email newsletter makes people more likely to click on a link in your email and read the article on your website — where a call to action offers a free video whitepaper on retirement income, social security, estate planning, or college investing. This is classic email marketing made effortless, and you can measure the results and optimize it.

Your contact list is managed in Constant Contact, and you can view analytics to see who opens each email — down to each reader’s name and which links they clicked. Constant Contact and Advisor Products last July signed a long term strategic pact to provide financial professionals with email marketing. Constant Contact is bundled into Advisor Products’ Financial Advisor Communications System, along with unlimited coaching from Constant Contact.

While last week’s email update addressed the correction, a range of other focus areas will be covered in the months ahead.  Over time, advisors can determine which focus areas each contact is interested in and build separate lists in each focus area. Those lists become a way of targeting information to each contact, engaging them.

Content for the weekly update is based on continuing professional education webinars presented by thought leaders in the financial advice profession weekly via Advisors4Advisors, an affiliate of Advisor Products. Advisors can preview the email newsletter at 6 p. m. ET Fridays, but most advisors send the weekly update automatically. It’s a totally unique way of educating  advisors about best practices aligned with a marketing platform.

 

Our New Client Dashboard Is An Advisor’s Client Portal

Since January, we have been developing a new client portal for advisors.

The new client portal is built into AdvisorVault, which is used by hundreds of RIAs. AdvisorVault is a highly customized version of Microsoft SharePoint explicitly designed to meet the needs of financial advice professionals.

We are replacing traditional Windows Explorer folders used to navigate vaults with a Windows 8 and Apple design aesthetic — a major leap forward in the look of our client vaults. More important than the look, however, are new data feeds into AdvisorVault of popular performance reporting, financial planning and CRM apps used by RIAs. The data feeds transform your client vaults into a client portal — a single place for UHNWIs to go to manage their wealth in collaboration with a financial professional.

Client Dashboard Is An Advisor’s Client Portal

Data fed by your CRM, planning, and portfolio accounting apps show up as “Web parts” or “widgets” in a client dashboard. Settings for which widgets are displayed in your client dashboards, and where, are controlled by you.

One widget fed by your portfolio reporting app will display a client’s asset allocation by asset class (utilizing asset classes you’ve set in your portfolio management software (PMS) system). Another widget displays total returns. Point is, an app can feed multiple widgets.

At the end of October, we will enable widgets displaying data from portfolio reporting apps — PortfolioCenter, Advent, AdvisorsAssistant, and AssetBook, followed by Albridge two- to four-weeks later.

At the end of November, you’ll be able to display a widget showing a client’s MoneyGuide Pro “Plan Confidence Meter” along with a net worth bar chart.

Financial Advisor Client Portals

At the end of December comes the widget most special: You’ll be able to display a list of tasks (activities) in Redtail CRM that will populate widgets in your client dashboard. From Redtail, you’ll share clients’ to-dos. They automatically feed client dashboards. No uploads or imports needed — it’s a Web service using Redtail’s application programming interface.

Advisors can assign clients tasks, like, “Please send me your 1099,” or, “Please fill in this risk profile.” In the widget, tasks assigned clients are listed as “incomplete” until the client responds, at which time you use your Redtail CRM to mark the task as “Completed.” Anytime you add, comment on or complete a task in Redtail, the client is emailed a link to the update in his portal. The portal is displayed in HTML5, making it viewable on any device.

You can display “Completed” tasks in a client’s dashboard. That’s incredibly powerful! Listing all of the tasks you completed for the client in the last year presents a clear statement of the value you provide to each client.

Assigning clients tasks and tracking them in their personal portal is a new, highly transparent way of practicing for financial professionals.

In the first quarter of 2015, widgets will let you display Advisor Products videos and articles in client portals, feeding clients with financial ideas consistent with best practices articulated by thought leaders. The potential to educate clients and prospects continually is an exciting and humbling goal we share with you.

 

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