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Seeing is Believing: How to Add Advisor Value with Financial Planning

So much of what you do for your clients is intangible. From account management, rebalancing, trading, and more, you’re doing a lot of work. But if your clients can’t see it, it’s hard to understand.

Enter financial planning.

Connecting your clients’ financial goals with investment performance data allows you to guide them through a process to create actionable plans that will help make their aspirations a reality. These easy-to-follow instructions will give them the tangible aspect some crave, and that will help you maintain their business.

As we take a look at the benefits of financial planning, the five steps of financial planning success, and how to get started, keep in mind that when it comes to your value to your clients, seeing really is believing.

Benefits of Financial Planning Services

According to Cerullli, nearly 50 percent of financial advisors call themselves “financial planners,” meaning they offer a full range of planning services, such as savings goals (retirement, college), budgeting, tax planning, and insurance. Yet, in reality, only 24 percent of them actually provide those planning services.

Offering your clients financial planning services are beneficial for two main reasons:

  • It helps you differentiate  yourself in a crowded wealth management field 
  • It Increases your advisor alpha by becoming a partner in their financial journey

Differentiating Yourself with Financial Planning

Today, there are so many advisors offering traditional asset management solutions alone. And this has resulted in financial advice being commoditized.

But that’s good news for advisors like you who are taking steps to differentiate through the addition of an investor-focused process that includes tangible steps. With financial planning, you are adding a supplemental service that many other advisors aren’t offering, and one that enhances the client experience.

Obviously, a better client experience is good for your investors. But it’s also good for you. McKinsey & Company reports that businesses, including advisory firms, focused on the customer experience have a revenue growth rate five times greater than those that don’t.

Increasing Advisor Alpha with Financial Planning

It is pretty easy for investors to move their portfolio from advisor to advisor. In fact, according to PriceMetrix, the average financial advisor will lose 10 percent of his or her clients every year. That’s a big chunk of income, lost.

But when you’re a partner in creating a financial plan, tracking progress, and reaching goals, you’re there when they reach some of life’s biggest milestones, like buying their first home, becoming a parent, or getting that gold watch at retirement. That helps give your advisor-client relationship much more emotional depth. 

Think about it: Will your investors remember what you did for their portfolio or will they remember that you helped them send their kid to their dream college?

5 Steps for Client Financial Planning Success

When most clients think of financial planning, or even investing for that matter, they have retirement in mind. But financial planning goes beyond retirement planning. Here are five steps to help guide you and your client to a successful financial plan:

  1. Begin with Goals: Start by identifying your client’s financial goals. This should include obvious things like retirement savings, college savings, and large purchases like homes and cars, as well as often forgotten things like debt management (think student loans), emergency funds, and health care costs.
  2. Gather Data: Next, you’ll need to know what they’re starting with. Collect income , expenses, and held-away accounts. You will want to gain full transparency into their existing accounts, including checking and savings.
  3. Assess Risk: Engage clients in a risk tolerance assessment. Beyond helping you select appropriate investment strategies, a clear risk profile can assist the financial planning process — powering financial forecasts and projections.
  4. Visualize Allocation: Then run Monte Carlo simulations and create and analyze asset allocation graphs to show your client’s probability of success of reaching goals based on different variables. Again, visualization here is key for your clients to understand where they are starting from and where they want to be. 
  5. Take Action: Once you have completed all of the other steps, you will be able to identify action steps to keep clients on track toward their goals. At any point, but especially once your plan is set, using a fintech solution will help you and your client check their progress and measure overall financial health at any time.

How Orion Portfolio Solutions Can Help

Orion Portfolio Solutions’ turnkey asset management program (TAMP) helps advisors seamlessly connect client financial goals with flexible investment options through a fully-integrated financial planning platform.

  • Seamless Planning: Identify, setup, and track client financial goals directly within your proposal, new account opening, and account management tools. With goals established, dedicated cards will be presented within each client’s account details page that shows goal progress, making your financial plans easy to monitor and manage.
  • Account Aggregation: From checking and savings accounts to their full investment portfolio, clients and their advisors can see a full picture of financial health.  Accounts can be linked manually, by your clients, or through an integration with Quovo.
  • Intuitive Experience: From reviewing accounts to completing actionable to-dos, assigned to keep a goal on track, easy-to-use advisor and client portals make staying engaged with your plans easy. The portal also serves as a document vault, where you can access and/or share statements and tax documents.

Overall, financial planning with Orion Portfolio Solutions gives advisors greater insight into the goals of your clients, as well as transparency into their financial picture. All of this results in being able to help investors make better financial decisions as a whole.

Contact us to learn more about how our financial planning technology can augment your investment strategies and client experience.

0408-OPS-2/21/2020

About Angie DiSalvo
Angie DiSalvo is a Marketing Content Strategist at Orion headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska. A former sports copy editor, designer, and sometimes reporter at the Colorado Springs Gazette and Des Moines Register, Angie uses her journalism skills to carefully craft content that helps financial advisors while also trying to use every constellation, star, and space pun possible. You can usually find Angie playing video games, drinking Earl Grey tea, and dreaming about her next Disney family vacation.