Engage Strategists Early And Often To Improve Your Clients’ Investment Experience

Strategists just manage investments, right? They can’t add value to my clients outside of a quarterly return figure… right?

That couldn’t be farther from the truth – or at least it shouldn’t be.

Every advisor we’ve worked with shares a common goal – create an investment experience where clients are happy, confident with their portfolio, and clear on the value their advisor adds to the process.

Every advisor we’ve worked with shares similar challenges as well – wearing too many hats, having to balance fielding client questions and managing portfolios with prospecting, and finding the time to manage your business on top of it all.

That’s why we advocate increased collaboration between advisors and their strategists (notice the plural). Below we’ll discuss how you can squeeze more value out of your strategist relationships to support your goal of creating more positive, manageable client experiences.

Step 1 - Bring Your Strategists Into The Portfolio Design Process (Sooner)

The benefit of outsourced investment management is clear. You save time while also gaining access to a team of dedicated investment specialists.

But… the fact remains that you still have to sift through an ever-growing menu of strategies to figure out which firms are reliable, which strategies can be combined to meet the client’s needs, and which allocation split makes the most sense for any given portfolio. The process can be frustrating and time consuming.

Bring your strategists into the conversation to help solve some of these challenges.

Your strategists can offer great insight not just on their strategies, but all of the other strategies on a platform that pair well with their own. That means that your strategist partners can help you evaluate how to mix and match strategies, increasing your ability to build well-tailored portfolios for each client.

But won’t the strategists be biased? Well, while every strategist should believe in their own philosophy, they should also be self-aware enough to know that they likely aren’t the right fit for every scenario. That’s the beauty of working through a TAMP or model marketplace that allows you to build well-diversified UMA portfolios.

If your strategist partners try to consume an entire client’s portfolio, I’d say that’s a red flag and you should proceed with caution. Your strategist partners should know their strengths and weaknesses, and they should be candid about both.

Step 2 - Ask Your Strategists More Questions

Allocating clients to a portfolio is a fraction of the investment experience, and we get that.

Whether you’re reviewing portfolios to ensure they still fit a client’s needs, fielding questions on the market, or seeking to win new business from a prospect, don’t be afraid to tap into your strategists for support.

We like to think of the strategist-advisor relationship like an NFL team’s coaching staff. Sure, there’s a head coach (that’s you, the advisor). But the head coach isn’t doing everything on their own. They are surrounded by a staff of specialists that help guide the team forward. The quarterback coach, the defensive coordinator, the special teams coach… these are your strategists.

When clients have technical questions about the market, source some insights from your strategist partners. You’ll not only get those answers quickly, but you’ll probably get a couple of unique perspectives that can help you answer client questions more comprehensively – both of which should help create trust and confidence.

When clients want to discuss their portfolio, how it’s allocated, or how it performed, don’t be afraid to pull a strategist into that conversation. We can give you bullet points to assist your discussion… Or, we can join the call and help demonstrate the immense value you deliver by connecting clients to deeply focused and experienced investment professionals.

Or, maybe you’re just reviewing a client’s portfolio and you’re seeking to taper down the risk. Who better to discuss that with than your strategists? You can simply swap a growth portfolio with a balanced one…. but it might make more sense to combine two disciplines to achieve a similar goal. For example, you might consider a dividend portfolio to tamp down volatility while still pursuing growth, which you can then pair with a tactical downside risk strategy from a manager that specializes in that discipline.

There’s more than one way to pursue an investment goal. Your strategist partners can help you evaluate these options to find one that works well for your client.

Look For Quality Over Quantity

The main takeaway is this – your strategist partners shouldn’t just give you a return figure on your quarterly statements. They should be partners who work with you to create better, more manageable client experiences.

So, if I can leave you with one last piece of advice, it’s this – look for strategists who are focused on the quality of their relationships, more than the quantity of their relationships. There are plenty of strategists out there who are willing and able to work with you… why do it all on your own?

The information and opinions in this report have been prepared by the investment staff of Advanced Asset Management Advisors (AAMA). This report is based upon information available to the public. The information herein is believed to be reliable and has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but AAMA makes no representation as to the accuracy or completeness of such information. Opinions, estimates and projections in this report constitute AAMA’s judgment and are subject to change without notice. This report is provided for informational purposes only. It is not to be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any financial instruments or to participate in any particular trading strategy in any jurisdiction in which such an offer or solicitation would violate applicable laws or regulations.

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