OAKS, Pa., December 19, 2017 – In considering resolutions to enhance their practice and better serve their clients, financial advisors reveal top priorities for 2018. According to a recent survey from SEI (NASDAQ: SEIC) Advisor Network, these include increasing their client referability, communicating and instituting a plan around the potential end to the bull market in the coming year, and building integrated workflows. The survey gathered responses from 400 financial advisors, who ranked their top New Year’s resolutions within three main areas of an advisor’s practice: 1) practice management, 2) investments, and 3) technology.
The overall number one resolution, and top priority for advisors in 2018, is to take steps to become more referable and increase client referrals. Interestingly, most advisors find it challenging to attract enough referrals to help them reach their growth expectations, according to a report jointly published by SEI, Absolute Engagement and The Client Driven Practice LLC. Based on the findings in this report, it makes sense that advisors are focusing on referability in 2018.
Compared to New Year’s resolutions for 2017, advisors are not as focused on the DOL Fiduciary Rule. In fact, it did not make the top 10 list for 2018. Last year, 40 percent of advisors responded that their number one priority was to prepare to comply with the rule; however, only 23 percent of advisors this year responded that their top priority is to make modifications to comply with the rule.
The survey also revealed that advisors are closely considering the market outlook, with 24 percent of respondents ranking communicating and instituting a plan for their clients around the potential end to the bull market in 2018 as their top investment-related resolution. Another top resolution related to investments among advisors is to reinforce the benefits of diversification with clients as part of a successful, long-term investment strategy.
In the area of technology, more than half (52 percent) of advisors surveyed said their first priority resolution is to build integrated automated workflows to increase efficiencies for their practice. When asked what technology advisors are using the most and find most useful, 46 percent responded with CRM. Meanwhile, when asked what type of technology they could benefit the most from, 35 percent of advisors said technology related to client prospecting and acquisition would be most important.
“Financial advisors’ top New Year’s resolutions point to growth, as they typically do, but this year shows a difference in how advisors are looking to grow,” said John Anderson, Managing Director and Head of Practice Management Services for the SEI Advisor Network. “Advisors want to increase their referability, but they are not sure exactly how to do it. We encourage them to not focus on one or two tactics but to build a strategic framework for becoming more referable. In the coming year, advisors also intend to focus on technologies that will help them scale their businesses, as well as ones that will support their growth and add more value to their clients’ lives.”
Here are the top 10 New Year’s resolutions made by financial advisors for 2018:
- Take steps to become more referable and increase client referrals
- Increase my client’s awareness of additional services that they may not know I offer
- Reinforce the benefits of diversification with clients as part of a long-term investment strategy
- Contact my clients more frequently through digital marketing channels such as email marketing, social media, etc.
- Communicate advisory fee structure and fiduciary standard with my clients
- Conduct more public-facing marketing activities
- Communicate and institute a plan for my clients around potential end to the bull market in 2018
- Implement a goals-based approach to investing for my clients
- Build integrated workflows for my practice to increase efficiencies
- Provide more investor-friendly education and communications around the financial markets and investments
The financial advisor survey was conducted during the first two weeks in December 2017, generating responses from over 400 independent financial advisors, representing clients and non-clients of SEI.
About The SEI Advisor Network
The SEI Advisor Network provides independent financial advisors with wealth management services through outsourced investment strategies, administration and technology services, and practice management programs. It is through these services that SEI helps advisors save time, grow revenues, and differentiate themselves in the market. With a history of financial strength, stability, and transparency, the SEI Advisor Network has been serving the independent financial advisor market for more than 20 years, has 7,300 advisors who work with SEI, and $62 billion in advisors’ assets under management (as of September 30, 2017). The SEI Advisor Network is a strategic business unit of SEI.
SEI (NASDAQ:SEIC) is a leading global provider of investment processing, investment management, and investment operations solutions that help corporations, financial institutions, financial advisors, and ultra-high-net-worth families create and manage wealth. As of September 30, 2017, through its subsidiaries and partnerships in which the company has a significant interest, SEI manages, advises or administers $845 billion in hedge, private equity, mutual fund and pooled or separately managed assets, including $325 billion in assets under management and $516 billion in client assets under administration.