Humans crave certainty and safety. Literally, we are physiologically wired to protect ourselves and avoid pain and failure. Safety, protection, and security are so important they come second to basic physical needs such as food and shelter, according to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. 

Now more than ever

Unfortunately, the last two years have compounded an overall feeling of uncertainty and volatility, which we see evidence of in the decade-low consumer confidence index, and ongoing market volatility visible in the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX). A global pandemic, social unrest, an eventful presidential election, Ukraine-Russia war, recent market volatility, and inflation pressures have unsettled the markets and many investors.

What role and responsibility do you have to communicate to your clients? When and how should you consider proactively communicating? There is no black and white answer to these questions, but we want to remind you that trust and communications matter (a lot) to your clients.   

According to the 650 investor respondents in the 2019 YCharts study, How Can Advisors Better Communicate with Clients: 
85% of clients reported, “Advisor communications impact referrals and retentions.”

According to our own research¹ highlighted in the paper, Your High-Net-Worth Client Strategy

The top three drivers of client satisfaction and dissatisfaction are:

  1. Overall relationship
  2. Trustworthiness and honesty
  3. Investment performance

Relationship equity matters, so what are you doing about it? 

A new tool to help guide your approach 

What often separates good from great advisors is the understanding of what their clients need to hear and when. If you’re not sure, here’s a tool to help.

The communications decision tree tool, includes:

  • Guidance on what, when, and how to communicate during periods of uncertainty and volatility  
  • Investor communications best practices
  • Sample deliverables 

Decision tool

decision map

Examples provided for illustrative purposes only. No mention of particular securities should be construed as a recommendation or considered an offer to sell or a solicitation to buy any securities.

As you and your clients navigate current and future volatility and uncertainty, keep in mind that difficult times often create unique opportunities—and what you communicate matters.

For more resources to articulate your value, visit the Growth Lab.  

¹SEI Consumer research, in association with Phoenix Marketing International, May 2018, n=347 High Net Worth Investors

Investing involves risk including possible loss of principal.


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