The sheer size and competitiveness of the financial industry forces those who want to achieve big things to find a way of differentiating themselves from the rest. But the way the modern advisor goes about achieving that differentiation has changed drastically over the past 10 years. Why? The global financial crisis, of course.
The way that the industry, stock market, and average advisor operate has changed significantly since 2008. It was a period of unprecedented upheaval and many people in the industry had to evolve in order to survive. For Tyler Mordy, President & CIO at Forstrong Global, it was working through the financial crisis that opened his eyes to the important role advisors play in their clients’ lives.
“Looking at how clients reacted and the emotions that were present, it became clear to me just how crucial the behavioural coaching aspect of financial planning really is,” Mordy says. “Some money managers had a bit of an identity crisis post crisis, but our firm has always tried to be very deliberate in communicating what our value is to clients and how that will benefit them.”
The world is changing and the current geopolitical situation would have been unimaginable just five years ago. The marketplace is more intensely emotional than ever, regulations are tightening, and the rise of the internet and fintech is placing a pressure on advisors to adapt their practices.
“The view of fintech has always been that it’s a robo vs human debate, but that is ridiculous,” Mordy says. “’Robo’ is just technology – the real question is how human advisors will leverage the rise of neat tools coming out from these so called robos. How can they use technology to make their business more efficient but also improve the client experience?”
It’s a challenging period for advisors and stumbling blocks seem to be coming from every angle. In order to succeed amid the uncertainty, advisors need to be able to prove their worth in any scenario or market environment.
“We believe that advisors should view their role as the professional who connects all the dots of their clients’ financial life and helps them manage their household balance sheet,” Mordy says. “Advisors need to take on a broader role, which means that they will have to either simplify their product shelf or embrace the outsourcing of investment management in order to free up more time to deepen relationships.”
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