From time to time, I'll contribute to advisor-facing industry publications.
Two hurricanes battering the country, a precarious situation in North Korea, and endless political wrangling in Washington DC, do not make for calm nerves.
The article below gives suggestions for how advisors should communicate with clients to help them avoid making impulsive decisions.
My recommendations from the article:
Advisors wanting to reinforce the idea that preparation, and not panic, are the way to go in uncertain times, have several options, said Ryan McPherson, founder of Intelligent Worth, an Atlanta-based fee-only financial planning firm.
“Helping clients avoid panicked investment decisions was paramount during the financial crisis 10 years ago and it’s just as important now,” McPherson said.
He advocates taking these specific action steps when clients show signs of making “trigger happy moves.”
• Take a proactive approach to client communication. “This is key and worked incredibly well during the financial crisis,” McPherson said. “Rightfully so, clients hate worrying about unsettling events and then hearing from their advisor.”
• Get ahead of negative market rumors. Advisors should call and/or email those clients who get particularly rattled when talk of mayhem fills headlines. “Don't wait for them to call you,” McPherson said.
• Engage your clients as a group. “Webinars or conference calls work well to address a larger number of clients at once and connect with those who usually don't worry as much,” McPherson added.
• Be calm, and use history as your guide. Anxiety-inducing, market-rattling headlines have become the norm, McPherson said. “However, these stories and the underlying events almost never equate to an actual change in a client's financial situation or personal life,” he said. “Thus, no real shift in portfolio strategy is needed.
It's also helpful to remind clients of past events that seemed dire, but shouldn't have driven an investment adjustment, he added.
Read the full article here: Advisor News: Use These Tips to Guide Wary Investors Through Market Volatility
If your advisor isn't proactively keeping you informed, we should chat.