The First Step Toward Becoming a Wealth Steward

Published by Marshall Smith, CIPM, Managing Director - General Manager, Products
July 27th, 2016

We talk a lot about helping our clients become true wealth stewards. It’s about using the rules of the new Fiduciary Standard as a basis, and taking further steps in service of our wealth management clients. Every aspect of the Standard can be enhanced when a wealth manager turns his advisory perspective toward the client.

Beyond the Fiduciary Standard, there are concrete ways to become a better steward of your clients’ wealth. One of those ways is to learn how to have open and honest communication about your clients’ investing goals. Every investor is different—different goals, different motivations, and different capacities. When you learn to understand each of those facets, provide transparency in your investment plan, you’ll be taking steps toward wealth stewardship.

 

Change Your Reporting Methods

Once you understand what your client wants to accomplish, your interaction with the client must become open and transparent. Naturally, a deep understanding of goals means that you talk about—and report on—those goals with the client. Having goals-based conversations with your clients is the first step toward becoming a wealth steward.

To accompany that goals-based conversation, goal-centered reporting goes a long way to helping the client feel that you are invested in, and understand their particular needs. In addition to reporting on portfolio performance against standard indices, your reporting should include some specific performance aspects of every investing goal you have identified with your client. Reports using both of these aspects are more detailed and specific to your client, and will enhance your clients’ loyalty and long-term satisfaction.

Goals-Based Reporting Separates You From Your Competition

In addition to fostering a strong client connection, using a goals-based reporting approach also serves to separate you from your competition. In initial client meetings, talking about goals, and showing how you will use goals-based reports can make a big difference in growing your business. All wealth managers talk about their ability to perform against any number of arbitrary market indices, and that’s certainly important, but it doesn’t speak to any client goals. It also doesn’t make you any different from any other advisor.

A recent EY survey of more than 2000 investors showed the 50 percent were equally interested in better engagement with their wealth manager, an increase in trust, and market performance. Focusing exclusively on market performance means you’re ignoring other basic factors of a client-focused wealth management strategy.

Understanding and focusing on client goals and using a combination of goals-based reporting and portfolio performance against the broader market will separate you from your competition. 

CORE: The Key to a Goals-Based Wealth Stewardship

First Rate CORE is a web-based console designed specifically to meet the complex goals-based reporting demands of your individual clients. It’s designed specifically to deliver a holistic wealth view for the client through in-depth reporting on specific individualized metrics. A key part of the CORE platform is the ability to automate the repetitive activities involved in financial reporting that can limit productivity and hinder your ability to add new clients.

At First Rate, we believe that when you tell your story using a combination of superior digital tools like our goal based reporting application through the CORE solution, and excellent one-on-one attention, clients are more engaged, long-term relationships thrive, and your competition is left behind.

 

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About the Author: Marshall Smith CIPM, Managing Director of Service Bureau, has been with First Rate since 2006. In this role he oversees Service Bureau, the business line responsible for clients that outsource their performance processing function, develops and maintains client relationships, and develops strategic planning for all Service Bureau operations. In addition, he leads First Rate’s Marketing team. You can follow Marshall on Twitter @1stRateMarshall, or connect via LinkedIn.

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