Stableford Capital Insights

Do the Tools or the Relationship Make a Good Financial Advisor

When the economy is anything but stable and markets are volatile, investors are concerned about their money. A good financial advisor is paramount to both navigating the markets and putting investors’ minds at ease.Questions clients typically ask are if they will have enough cash flow for permanent expenses? Will they be able to retire on time? Will their families still be taken care of?Technology and state-of-the-art tools can help – and in the financial industry, they are constantly evolving to support both the investor and the advisor. Ultimately though, it’s the relationship an advisor has with each client that is most valuable.

Financial Focus

Helping clients understand financial topics is a primary goal of any good financial advisor. This can and should be achieved through multiple mediums, first and foremost personal communication, but also by offering useful guides or eBooks, providing market updates with commentary, and sharing timely articles.

How to Find a Good Financial Advisor Stableford Capital

No matter the medium, the most important element of client engagement is the tone of the office and staff. At Stableford, we actually refer to this as The Stableford Way. This culture, attitude, and focus impacts how much clients return the engagement.When clients feel heard and valued, they are more confident in their advisors and the investment firm. And the investment plan is designed around that specific client’s values, goals, and risks.Throughout interactions, clients should be thinking (and saying), “My advisor knows me so well, she remembers every detail!”

Technology Helps Increase Productivity and Communication

From the advisor side, some tools and technology increase productivity while enhancing client education and personal relationships. For example, client relationship management (CRM) softwarehelps advisors spend more time with clients, getting to know their unique situation, financial goals, and any changes to either.

Good Financial Advisor business Professional working on laptop and cellphone Stableford Capital - Web

Just a decade ago, it was common practice for advisors to send out quarterly reports to investors so they could see their status. Today, a good financial advisor can use technology to keep clients up to date on their assets in real-time. And through tools such as phone apps, clients can access this information anytime, anywhere.Although younger investors, or future high net-worth individuals, expect tech in their investment process, baby boomers appreciate technology’s ease of use, as well.

An Experienced Partner Guiding Your Financial Future

While the tech and tools show the current snapshot of assets, but they can’t dig deeper into what the trends mean or how to react (if at all). A good financial advisor supplements the real-time numbers with market context, trends in similar industries or vehicles, or what insight other periods in investment history can offer.It’s the complete picture and open communication that makes the tools work.

Veering Virtual

Good Financial Advisor Virtual meetings Stableford Capital Web

While regularly scheduled face-to-face meetings are still helpful for some investors (and may return again), many prefer to go digital via email, phone calls, or video meetings.Long before the coronavirus pandemic forced many people into virtual meetings, people were already used to communicating this way through FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, and several other platforms. From video calls with grandparents to broadcasters conducting interviews across the globe, instant visual communication is part of society now.

Emerging Investors and Tech

Emerging investors just starting a relationship with a financial advisor are used to getting immediate access to information in other facets of their lives, and their investments are no different. They expect to communicate via the Internet or apps, and they expect quick answers to questions.Virtual and quick communication tools enable financial advisors to communicate more often and will be expected by nearly all clients as the world embraces this technology. But again, it’s the content that is communicated that matters most.

How a Good Financial Advisor Uses Technology in Portfolios

While there is no replacing decades of experience managing wealth, there is still a place for automated technology in portfolio management.

Good Financial Advisor Automated technology Stableford Capital Web

Algorithms used in Artificial Intelligence analyze more data more quickly and accurately than a human can. This data can then be aggregated over specific time periods to better illustrate trends.Yet there is often no rhyme or reason for the machine’s decision making, so financial advisors and technical analysts still need to review the data and make personalized recommendations.However, by automating parts of the portfolio building process, advisors then free up more time to customize the portfolio and the planning process based on the changing needs of the client.

Security and Compliance

Of course, with the addition of technology and more access comes a greater need for security. Protecting client data and preventing cybercrime should be top priorities for financial investment firms. At Stableford, security and compliance are already in place.This should also be a topic in client communication, keeping them apprised of phishing scams and how they can keep their own information private.

The Perfect Blend of Tech and Time

Stableford Capital utilizes cutting-edge technology and tools to create customized strategies for clients, however, these always work best when paired with strong personal relationships with clients.

There is simply no replacement for experience and fostering relationships – a recent survey backs this up, noting that the majority of high net-worth clients rank their rapport with their financial advisors much higher than their technology capabilities.Our advisors are known for being in constant communication with clients to both provide education on the market and to stay on top of anything that may change financial goals. Technology cannot calm clients in a downturned economy, or adjust for unexpected life changes.This combination of tech and time is inherent in Stableford’s culture, and the primary reason clients choose to work with us. In just 15 minutes we can get to know your situation, then connect you with an advisor committed to helping you pursue true wealth. Schedule a consultation today!

Nikki Sutcliffe
Nikki Sutcliffe is Stableford Capital’s Director of Advisory Services. Prior to joining Stableford, Nikki worked at Charles Schwab for five years where she was an investment advisor and most recently as a financial planner. She started her career as a portfolio manager at Girard Partners and worked there for seven years while helping to grow the firm. Nikki graduated from Penn State University with a B.S. in Finance and earned her CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation in 2013.