WAYNE, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Advisors strongly prefer face-to-face meetings with their clients, despite more frequent – and still increasing – client communication, according to new data from Hartford Funds. As digital communication methods grow in popularity, forward-thinking advisors will need to adjust their approach in kind to maintain fruitful relationships with their clients.
Face-to-Face Meetings Remain Top Choice for Advisors
Nearly three-quarters of advisors (73 percent) cited face-to-face meetings as their favored method of communication with clients and prospects. By comparison, only 12 percent of advisors found video options like Skype and FaceTime most useful for these conversations.
Further, when asked which digital platforms advisors use most often for client and prospect communication, LinkedIn was a clear winner. In fact, 74 percent of respondents ranked it in their top three most-used platforms. Twitter and Skype were nearly tied as the next most-used choices with 45 and 43 percent of advisors using them, respectively.
Communication is Skyrocketing
Although they prefer in-person meetings, nearly two-thirds of advisors (64 percent) report interacting with their clients on at least a weekly basis to discuss investment strategy, or simply touch-base. Advisors virtually unanimously (96 percent) anticipate that this frequency of communication should continue in the next five-to-ten years, with almost 38 percent expecting it to increase by more than 50 percent.
“Effective, consistent communication is the bedrock of the advisor-client relationship and a strategic imperative in human-centric advising,” said Julie Genjac, Managing Director, Strategic Markets at Hartford Funds. “As advisors thread the needle and both communicate more frequently and meet in-person, it’s essential that they embrace firm-approved digital alternatives (like video chat) that allow for more regular, face-to-face interactions.”
Group Informational Sessions an Important Value-Add
As they communicate more frequently with their clients, advisors are also seeking ways to provide critical value-add outside of their regular discussions. Over half of advisors (53 percent) reported hosting group informational sessions (regarding trending investment topics, market updates, technology, and other subjects) at least quarterly, and three-quarters (75 percent) do so annually.
“Value-add content is a critical way for advisors to guide their clients on issues related and unrelated to their finances,” said John Diehl, Senior Vice President of Strategic Markets at Hartford Funds. “Considering their widespread preference for face-to-face interaction, advisors must leverage workshops and group informational sessions to provide valuable insight in-person on important issues, and thereby ensure that their client relationships are more fruitful and rewarding.”
The survey of 116 financial advisors was administered in-person in June 2018.
About Hartford Funds
Founded in 1996, Hartford Funds is a leading asset manager, which provides mutual funds, ETFs, and 529 college savings plans. Using its human-centric investing approach, Hartford Funds creates strategies and tools designed to address the needs and wants of investors. Leveraging partnerships with leading experts, Hartford Funds delivers insight into the latest demographic trends and investor behavior.
The firm’s line-up includes more than 55 mutual funds in a variety of styles and asset classes, as well as a variety of multifactor and active ETFs. Its mutual funds (with the exception of certain fund of funds) are sub-advised by Wellington Management or Schroder Investment Management North America Inc. The strategic beta ETFs offered by Hartford Funds are designed to help address investors’ evolving needs by leveraging a unique risk-optimized approach, which identifies risks within each asset class and then deliberately and systematically re-allocates capital toward risks more likely to enhance return potential. Excluding affiliated funds of funds, as of March 31, 2018, Hartford Funds Management Company, LLC and its wholly owned subsidiary, Lattice Strategies LLC, had approximately $115.4 billion in discretionary and non-discretionary assets under management. For more information about our investment family, visit www.hartfordfunds.com.
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