Very few jobs in financial services have changed as radically as the financial advisor’s. Clients increasingly want their advisor to serve as their personal CFO, guiding them through nearly every aspect of their financial lifecycle.
The relationship has become simultaneously more intimate and more far-reaching, helping the client set goals, tailor an investment portfolio to fit those goals, rebalance it to maintain that focus, and—critically—manage risk. Guiding the client away from inappropriate investment choices, such as holding too much of his/her assets in cash, can be just as important a part of the advisor’s job as helping him/her make the right ones. The job doesn’t end when the client gets ready to stop working, either. Instead, it becomes more challenging, as the advisor helps him/her to time his/her retirement, set his/her lifestyle goals and expectations, and match these to a sequence of withdrawals. On top of this, the job is literally becoming bigger as the “age wave” of Baby Boomers retires, ushering in a complex new period of decumulation.
Mastering the skills needed to succeed in this rapidly evolving role is not easy, but the advisor who succeeds can offer a more valuable service than the traditional sales rep, built on a stable, lifetime relationship with the client and, possibly, his/her heirs.
“Navigating the Financial Outcome Puzzle” is a series of five papers exploring the challenges of this new role and how you can thrive in it.
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