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Blaze Portfolio Speaks With RIAs On Best Communication Practices

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Blaze Portfolio Speaks With RIAs On Best Communication Practices

Research has shown that one of the chief reasons clients change financial advisors is dissatisfaction over advisor communication. This is particularly true in volatile or dipping markets when investor anxiety peaks. 

We spoke with a number of leading advisors to get a sense of what they are doing to keep their clients informed and to see if social media and other newer technologies are playing a part.

Paul Meehan, Managing Director at Edgemoor Investment Advisors, Bethesda, MD, $960M AUM    

Like many of the advisors we spoke with, Meehan is relying on traditional communications: direct meetings and written reports. 

"We are not users of social media,” said Meehan. “When we want to get a message out to clients we use email blasts, although we do maintain a blog on our website." 

This is not to say that Edgemoor isn't interested in new communications avenues. This year they've reached out to clients with their first webinar. The topic was the firm's commitment to increase global allocation. Meehan found the response encouraging and plans on doing more webinars in the future. 

Walter Dewey, Co-founder, Resonant Capital Advisors, Madison, WI, $448M AUM 

Dewey believes in the importance of traditional quarterly reporting with email updates as circumstances prompt. 

As Dewey explains, "We are willing to match our communication to our clients' needs and desires. That said, we haven't found a need to rely on social media. We do think our clients appreciate careful, in-depth commentary, which we provide each quarter. At the same time, we're aware that not everyone wants to dive that deep, so we also include a more digested summary."

Alec Berens, Director of Research, Sterling Investment Management, Scottsdale, AZ, $300M AUM

Alec Berens is on the same page as Resonant. Sterling is an independent RIA working with a mix of institutions and high-net-worth individuals. 

Berens said, "We don't use social media at all. We communicate with clients by email, phone and face-to-face meetings."

Eric Rosel, Co-founder, Morgan Rosel Wealth Management, Denver, CO, $200M AUM

Rosel says they have received great feedback on their new video outreach. 

Explained Rosel, "We don't do a lot with social media, but one thing our clients have responded to is our monthly videos. We have a professional video company come in and do a topical video which we then distribute via email. In February we featured our tax expert talking about tax strategies for 2019; in March we focused on the markets and our positioning."

Tim Medley, President, Medley & Brown RIA, Jackson, MS, $900M AUM 

Medley emphasized he has long been a believer in quality communications, using it as a central principle as he built his practice. 

"We're always been conscious of good communications and we continue to produce substantive quarterly reports,” Said Medley. “We have seen a shift among some clients who prefer to read the reports online, just as some prefer face-to-face meetings. We do use email to keep in touch, such as when we recently had some shifts in our mutual fund share classes. We wanted to make sure our clients were aware of the change and that it wasn't a taxable event. Getting such messages out quickly and cost-efficiently is certainly easier than when we started."

Traditional Communication with Innovations    

While social media may be the rage, many advisors are relying on more traditional communication vehicles that allow a more comprehensive and deep explanation than say, a 140-character Tweet. 

One factor limiting social media use may be compliance complications. However, this hardly means that advisor communications are stuck in the past. Video innovations are making face-to-face verbal communication efficient and responsive, while even the most traditional quarterly report is now distributed almost instantaneously via electronic media.

Visit BlazePortfolio.com to see how other wealth managers are using tech to increase transparency with clients.

Posted-In: Blaze PortfolioFinancial Advisors Education Personal Finance Interview General

 

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