The more things change, the more they stay the same.
A good advisor has always needed to be strong in three areas:
Service – As you can imagine this means different things to different advisors and different clients. This is an area that has changed over the generations. What service meant to my parents is vastly different from what it means to my children and grandchildren. Matching advisor service to the client’s service values is as difficult as it has ever been. Unfortunately regulatory paperwork is now creeping its way up in time consumption resulting in less time for service.
Knowledge – Finding the information for an investment took up a lot of time in the past. With the internet, much of the pre-work is done for the advisor. As I have written about in the past, most of the large firms with captured advisors are inflicting their “out of the box solutions” on the advisors, who in turn are inflicting this upon their clients. When I started these firms I had to spend 60% of my time doing research and service, 30% finding clients and 10% paperwork.
When I left we were being told that 70% of our time was going to used to find clients and the advisor would be turning over the research to head office. The advisors in these firms are changing into advisors who mimic the sound-bytes that are given to them.
Security – While client privacy should have always been tantamount, the internet has caused there to be more focus on security as an important piece of client privacy. The large institutions have very capably kept up their security advances, as has mine, but there is an incredible weakness at the personal desktop, tablet and phone level. A few years ago at my last firm an advisor had his tablet stolen, had no security and had to notify all clients about the loss off data. All of the technological advances our head office had made, did not make up for a lost tablet.
A Great Advisor is a Leader in all areas:
Service – a great advisor understands that one size does not fit all clients. Crafting portfolios for the clients they personally get to know is tantamount to satisfying clients and allowing advisors to adjust their service to better work with their clients.
Communication is a large part of Service. A great advisor must utilize all means available to communicate, including social media. As many of you know, I have been a leading advisor in Canada and have worked with the regulators to use Social Media and Blog with the regulator’s oversight. A year later this started rolling out within the industry. I have been prolific with my writing and a leader in using social media in our industry.
I have just been showcased in Manulife’s Horizon magazine for proper use of social media. I have also been showcased in Manulife’s Fall Business Forums across Canada and have been asked to be the special guest in their Educational Webinar in January.
The telephone and in person meetings remains as important as it has in the past.
Wisdom – A great advisor uses their knowledge interwoven into their personal Wisdom. I have written in the past; We are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom. You can get so much information on the web that too many believe that this very narrow focus is all the information. You start to see the same thing over and over and as we all know; people only look at the first page of a google search. Wisdom is becoming more scarce as the large institutions are driving the investment decisions of their staff, always making sure their institution is protected first.
Security - As an independent advisor with a large firm we are able to beef up security at our level. Our team just updated our security to Military Grade Data Security and Encryption including a Secure Cloud Back-up housed in Canada. This covers everything you could imagine, including finger print access. Your privacy is first and foremost in our mind while working with you and your business.
Caring – A great advisor cares about their clients and their issues. We deal with seniors and baby boomers. These baby boomers are investing for themselves as well as caring for their senior parents. I have found that since I always have given back to my community, Making our Seniors Matter allows me to help this group. I support this group with my time as well as financially.
Making our Seniors Matter - I have been a guest on the online Radio Program, but more importantly I sponsored the SENIOR’S SCAM ALERT with the Peel Police for the last two seasons. You can listen to these extremely informative radio programs and scam alerts on my webpage.
In between radio seasons a major scam has been going through the region and we did a short seniors scam video to bring it to Seniors now, not having to wait for the next season.
Find out about this great initiative at: www.makingourseniorsmatter.com.
YOUR INDEPENDENCE MATTERS and if you want to see what a truly independent investment/insurance advisor can do for you, call me at 905-846-9060, ext.3838, email me at Terry.McIntyre@manulifesecurities.ca or visit my website at www.terrymcintyre.ca