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Insights | May 27, 2022

Building Evergreen Value in Volatile Markets

Your clients didn’t hire you because you can predict the markets, so an unpredictable market shouldn’t have any bearing on the client relationship. 

Of course we all know it doesn’t quite work that way. 

In reality, it takes a conscious and ongoing effort on the part of every advisor to build up a reservoir of evergreen value so that, even in the most unfavourable conditions, new and existing relationships remain strong. These are the best ways we’ve found to accomplish this.

Communicate your methodology.

When the markets take a tumble, it’s much easier for clients to take if they have a clear understanding of your investment methodology, the rationale behind it, and what it means in the context of their broader interests. Because much of your value as an advisor comes from the fact that you enable investors to participate in the markets in a systematic, goal-oriented manner. 

Supporting documentation is crucial here. Videos, whitepapers, infographics—whatever helps crystallize your investment philosophy in the minds of both new and existing clients, while reinforcing the idea that it is both professional and well-tested. 

And of course, it’s worth mentioning communication in general. Having a set process that intersperses personal touch points with mass communications (like newsletters, educational events or commentary) will help maintain connections, allay fears and strengthen trust. 

Deepen your service offering. 

Especially for those advisors looking to cultivate a holistic, family office–style practice, developing and conveying the depth of your service offering is an excellent way to build value that doesn’t fluctuate with the markets.

Because your clients’ overall financial health relies not just on their portfolio, but also on their tax strategy, family trusts, insurance policies, estate plans, retirement funding, and so on. Consider what it would take to get them to see you as someone who manages all these components of their wealth, as opposed to being primarily a steward of their invested assets. 

Apart from any internal capabilities that may need to be developed, this often means introducing a detailed service offering in the prospecting stage, and keeping clients aware of it as part of your communication and review procedures. 

Develop your client process.

A well-conceived client process designed for a niche group can be a wellspring of evergreen value. 

If you can be transparent and predictable in the steps you follow to serve your clients, you can create a culture of reliability and deliver the consistency clients wish they could see in the markets. The more distinct and inimitable your client process is, the more you can detach your worth as an advisor to the ups and downs of economic cycles. 

What it boils down to is visible value. Define what it is you do for clients beyond short-term returns, and find ways to keep it top-of-mind throughout the relationship.

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