Why new clients are looking for more education and support

If people aren't getting what they need, they'll leave you, warns advisor

Why new clients are looking for more education and support

Julie Shipley-Strickland, a Calgary-based advisor, is noticing a shift in her business as she exits the worst of the COVID pandemic and watches for signs of a recession.

“There seem to be a lot of new clients who are looking for support, so I have a lot of new prospects whom I’m having conversations with because I think they’re looking for that education and support,” said Strickland, a senior wealth advisor with Wellington-Altus Private Wealth and the principal and founder of Julie Shipley-Strickland Wealth and Risk Management, told Wealth Professional. “If they can’t find it where they are currently, they’re going after that.”

Read more: Why women are craving more financial knowledge since the pandemic

That’s different than what she saw in the summer during the increased market volatility.

“There was more concern for my clientele then. I spoke to quite a few of them in the summer, just to explain what was going on because they were seeing these rumours of recession in the headlines and then the stock markets were already down,” she said. She had to correct their perception that an economic recession equals a stock market decline. Clients weren’t necessarily nervous, given what they’d already experienced financially during the pandemic, she said, “but a lot of them were really after information and education.”

Shipley-Strickland noted that her clients, both female and male, tend to be very relationship-focused, so like to have deep conversations about their goals and wealth. But she’s also seeing an increase in the number of millennial clients who have had some career success, so are looking for financial advice to meet their goals, which could include an earlier retirement than their folks.

She’s also noticing that younger clients are coming from the banks even more than robo-advisors, where they might have been struggling with dealing with the post-pandemic volatility.

“We think the volatility has helped because there’s a whole sea change going on here,” she said. “But, yes, I think clients want that human connection again. They’re seeing the limitations of what a robo-advisor can do. It’s not necessarily bad if they want to use it for their trading account or to manage a small portion of their portfolios themselves. But, I’m seeing more clients wanting that support from an advisor to look at their overall wealth.”

Shipley-Strickland believes in the value of education and is also seeing an increasing demand for it. She’s launched an online course, which she’ll reoffer during November’s financial literacy month, but she’s also co-authored a book, The Canadian Guide for Personal Finance for Singles, which Indigo recently launched.

As for her clients, she said, that while there was an increased reluctance to deal with the stock market in the summer, “I’m seeing them a bit more eager to get back into the market. I think they believe that, even though there might be an economic recession, we could see some steady returns from the stock markets over the next couple of quarters. So, I’m seeing an increased confidence.”

Read more: Is the Fed steering U.S. into a recession?

She encouraged advisors to retain consistent contact with clients because they value that and the consistency of their other communications. She’s seeing more response to hers on her social media.

“Whatever you do that supports your clientele, that needs to remain in place,” said Shipley-Strickland, “irrespective of what’s happening in the economy, stock market, or world.”