There has long been a disconnect between what clients value in financial advice and what the industry has considered as valuable.
From an industry perspective, there has been an emphasis on the value of advice being inherent in SOA documents. From a client’s perspective, the value lies in their concern for finding a solution to their problems. They seek support to reach their financial goals, bridge current to future gaps, deal with life events and help control their habits and behaviours with money.
A research study conducted across financial advice clients in Australia were asked if they understood their Statement of Advice? The answers were unsurprising.
01 24% did not read their SOA, yet agreed to the advice
02 43% were confused by the content & language, yet agreed to the advice
03 33% understood it enough and agreed to the advice
04 45% overall said they want to be involved with their plan, with more knowledge
These statistics illustrate the significant disconnect between financial advice and how advice is valued, presented, and consumed – especially for today’s tech-savvy consumer.
Because financial advice is about more than just a client’s financial position, it’s also about goal achievement and a client’s emotional and behavioural values: the actual value of advice comes in two distinct forms – tangible and intangible.
The SOA, the outcomes of the implemented strategies, market performance, products recommended, the cost & benefit of the advice.
How an adviser communicates, the rapport and relationship, tracking towards goals, client feelings (eg: confident, secure, at ease, empowered, inspired, educated).
To deliver valuable advice from a client’s perspective requires a shift from an advice process designed purely around tangible value and meeting compliance requirements, to one primarily focused on ongoing coaching support & tracking throughout the client’s financial advice journey.
To rethink and redesign the advice process, there needs to be a wider focus on the client’s problems rather than the industry’s sole focus toward problems like compliance, which eats into the value chain and increases the cost of advice for clients.
Fortunately, tech innovation is playing its role by supporting a new-world advice process with efficiencies and tangible benefits, freeing up an adviser’s time and capacity, and improving client outcomes.
Tech innovation can automate every step of the advice process and integrate compliance across all interactions between the Adviser and Client. It can centre advice around the client’s goals, the tangible outcome they are seeking to achieve, and transform it into an experience they can fully understand, participate in and engage with. It also increases the responsibility of their role in the process by increasing their ability to make more informed financial decisions based on achieving their financial goals.