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There is Nothing ‘Artificial’ About the Intelligent Advisor/Client Relationship

The Modern Advisor Meets Modern Technology – Part 3

The best technology solves difficult problems, uncovers time- and money-saving new approaches, and frees up time for the people using that technology. For today’s modern financial advisor, technology is an invaluable tool. In Part 1 and Part 2 of our tech-focused blog series, we explored the impact of modern technology on advisors’ work and covered essential questions to ask when evaluating your tech stack.

But what we haven’t yet covered are those crucial aspects of an advisor’s job that cannot and should not be thought of as areas ripe for “disruption.” Instead, these are the areas where advisors should direct the time that technology saves:

  • Building Trust and Rapport: Trust is an inherently human concept that can take years to earn and only moments to lose. There is no single right way to earn a client’s trust, but there are countless ways to lose it. In today’s tech-obsessed world, be careful about tech and its many interfaces becoming a moat between you and your clients.
  • Understanding Client Goals and Emotions: Imagine the market is having “one of those days,” with major indexes whipsawing back and forth. Even the most seasoned investor gets nervous now and then. Suppose your clients reach out, looking for insights and reassurance. “Today’s market moves are well within the norms for equity market volatility, particularly during times of elevated geopolitical concerns and ambiguous global central bank posturing,” responds your chatbot. Not long after, your clients and their assets may move to another firm. The best advisors understand empathy and its importance in the advisor/client relationship. Clients seeking assurance during choppy markets aren’t looking for a history lesson—they want to know their three-year plan hasn’t just become a ten-year plan.
  • Providing Advice and Guidance on an Individual Level: This is perhaps where tech and human support can best complement each other. The range of investment options and approaches now available is nearly infinite, considering all possible combinations. Technology can help quantify things like risk tolerance and time horizons and construct a portfolio that aligns with a client’s values. However, it cannot bring the experience, intuition, and judgment necessary to transform a “personalized” approach into a truly personal one.

At ASN, we embrace the role that technology plays in making advisors better at their jobs and delivering better outcomes and experiences for clients. Any luddites remaining in the advisor community will find their jobs increasingly difficult in the years to come, but it is essential that advisors never lose sight of the parts of their work requiring those all-important human connections.

In the fourth and final part of our tech-focused blog series, we’ll delve into the topic that’s dominated the headlines over the past year: artificial intelligence.