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How the Pandemic Changed Investors’ Needs

This article first appeared in Advisor Perspectives on September, 29th, 2020, and can be found here

The pandemic revolutionized financial behavior. During a period of immense uncertainty, many are turning to the advice of professionals to keep their finances on track.

Yet when it comes to investors – a crucial client base for many financial advisors – the pandemic has changed them as well. This change has altered the qualities and services investors look for in a financial advisor.

What do investors want to talk about?

Recent research from the Spectrem Group showed which topics investors want to talk about with their financial advisors.

stats on topics of interest from financial advisors

Investments, unsurprisingly, took the #1 spot. But the other most popular choices are intriguing. Investments was closely trailed by topics such as, income generation during retirement and current economic events and their impact on my wealth. The least-popular topics included health-related issues, world events and insurance.

Is this new?

Of course, investments have always been a priority for affluent investors. Similar research from the Spectrem Group in 2017, however, revealed that even ultra-high-net-worth investors have concerns about supporting themselves financially during retirement or even the ability to retire at all. Interestingly, the desire of investors to discuss current economic events became more of a priority due to the pandemic.

what do investors want to know from financial advisors?

Why is this important? Thinking from your target audience’s point of view is going to improve your marketing and advising strategies. It’s crucial to have an understanding of the questions prospects have before they ask you, so you can introduce your solutions from the get-go.

What this means for your marketing

Research like this is extremely valuable for your marketing and, in particular, your content strategy. If your content isn’t relevant to your specific audience, it’s going to be more difficult for you to reach that niche.

Current events

The pandemic has brought current events to the forefront. This is what I call “timely content“ – it’s on the opposite side of the spectrum from evergreen content, but it’s equally as important.

Clients want to hear from you about economic events and how they affect their wealth and investments. This is a time of huge financial uncertainty, and clients and prospective clients want your guidance. What do market volatility and job losses mean for their finances? What should make them nervous? What should they relax about? What plans should they make?

Resources page example Traphagen

I love this example from Traphagen Financial Group – it has a section on its website entirely dedicated to COVID-19 resources, supplemented with its comments, explanations and presentation of how their services can help.

As the national climate changes, pay attention and keep ongoing discussion with your clients about how these changes affect them. “Current events” could even be something as simple as providing a weekly stock market summary.

Be a thought leader

To grab the attention of prospects, you need to establish yourself as a thought leader in areas where they have questions. You can do this by producing original content, whether it be in the form of a blog post, video, infographic or some other delivery method.

The second part of establishing yourself as a thought leader is contingent upon you producing original content that is valuable prospects. For instance, Spectrem’s study reported that many UHNW investors worry about income during retirement. This is a topic many don’t cover outright – and it’s one that would be useful to address.

Forward Thinking Wealth Management blog post example

Consider this original blog post from Forward Thinking Wealth Management – it’s concise, but it provides information on a topic investors are interested in learning about. This is a great example of building up your content portfolio.

Consider their life stage

Think about the demographic and stage of life your clients are in. Even if you cater to different audiences, there are likely similarities or at least subsets among your clients. Content that is life-stage specific is extremely valuable to readers, especially now as reality grows more and more elusive.

For example, let’s say that you primarily serve growing families and young business owners. It’s probably not wise to spend all of your time churning out content about preparing for retirement – instead, delve into topics like saving for your child’s education or paying off student loans.

Capital Asset Management Group Blog Example

This article from Capital Asset Management Group is both timely and targeted. It’s useful information for university/graduate school students and parents who may be paying for a child’s college education.

While the pandemic has significantly changed the needs of clients, all of these lessons should be kept in mind even long after the pandemic runs its course. It’s always vital to pay attention to the needs and wants of your clients. Stay in touch with your clients’ concerns and create relevant, valuable content to match.