What Last Month’s Market Tumble Tells Us about Digital Engagement

As the Dow fell more than 1000 points last month, all eyes were on robo-advisors. Well, actually, 17% of eyes were on robo-advisors according to a report by WIRED. That’s right – as the markets tumbled and the industry panicked, 83% of investors with robo-advisors did not even log in to check their accounts, just like any other day.

Lack of knowledge doesn’t explain this. Anyone with a social media account, a smartphone, or internet access knew of the crash. Thanks to real-time mobile and social news, all investors are aware of market activity, whether or not they check accounts. It seems we’re still learning what modern digitally connected consumers mean for a traditional industry like financial services.

The wealth management industry has awaited evidence of how robo-advisors perform when markets do poorly, but recent events have revealed something else: robo-advisors are not the final form of the investor-advisor relationship in the digital age.

Large institutions and smaller RIAs have scrambled to add digital investing tools to their offerings as a way to draw in and satisfy clients with online access, 24/7 support, and more personal control and understanding, all demanded by the digital economy.

But at a time when investors would want all these features most, as their savings and wealth declined, no more customers than usual logged in to check performance.

Meanwhile, advisors saw an uptick in calls and emails from investors wondering how the crash affected their portfolios. In truth, they needed reassurances to know all would be well in the long run and their trusted advisors were working hard for their money.

A robo-advisor’s digital dashboard doesn’t satisfy the emotional of aspect of wealth management. The answer to digital engagement for financial advisors is in technology which facilitates the emotional aspect of investing with tools to inform, educate, and communicate with investors.

Without the right tools, advisors are left to field calls and emails from clients, spending time on the phone making them feel better, rather than managing money and making smart decisions. A digitally engaged advisor automates personalized communication to bring emotional balance to nervous clients.

Reactive advisors wait for clients to come with questions before answering, using time poorly and appearing slow or out of touch. Be proactive with emails which answer questions, reassure clients, deliver personalized information, and open a dialogue with more value than “Will my investments be ok?”

Digital engagement in the financial services world today looks like an advisor who’s real-time, in-the-know, available, modern, and personally aware of their clients’ goals, interests, and concerns. Automated investing alone cannot fill this need, but you can. Get in touch to learn how.

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