Last week we released “The Advisors’ Playbook For Leading Your Clients Forward.” Featured below is an interview with John Harris, Managing Director, Envestnet, offering greater insight into the intent of the playbook and how you can get the most value from it, both immediately and over the long term.

1. Why did Envestnet create “The Advisors’ Playbook For Leading Your Clients Forward?”

We’re more than halfway through 2020, a year many believed would be transformative for the financial services industry, with advisors rapidly retiring, wealth transferring among generations, and increasing access to powerful technology. COVID-19 advanced not only these changes but many others. It’s been a challenging time.

It’s become very clear to us that investors find advice to be crucial in times like these, and advisors need to be able to deliver on that. Leaders across the industry are helping to identify key trends, but advisors are often left to interpret this information and the implications for their practices on their own, without a roadmap for navigating this critical turning point.

It is our hope that this playbook provides you with simple actions you can take to help sustain and grow your business and continue to deliver unified advice for your clients, whose financial lives are likely more complex than ever before.

2. Can you summarize the playbook and its benefits?

The playbook covers:

  • Trends we’re seeing, largely based on our own data. These cover, for example, advisor activity, indicating that our advisors responded remarkably well; client satisfaction levels; and consumer spending patterns.
  • A breakdown of six significant ways we believe the industry will change, with data to support our beliefs.
  • An outline of actions you can take to address each specific trend, with regard to your clients, your practice, and your suite of technology.

We’re hoping to ease your stress by not only helping you understand the environment and changes taking place, but also by providing guidance on what you can do next. Not every action will make sense for every advisor, but by laying everything out in a straightforward manner, you should be better equipped to prioritize what will have the most impact for your clients and your practice.

3. How can advisors make immediate use of the playbook?

We believe that a human advisor is essential for investors, who may be overwhelmed by the choices they face as they deal with life’s transitions and the financial impact of COVID-19. The playbook is immediately actionable so you can provide the guidance your clients need, unique to their circumstances.

Some of the tactics you can implement right away. For example, in conversations with clients, you can showcase understanding of the challenges they may be facing, acknowledge their emotions and respond with empathy, and help them prioritize next steps.

Others may take more time. For example, examining how you can better utilize technology, equip your clients with interactive planning tools, and improve the organization of their overall finances.

The playbook also outlines how you can take advantage of the urgency at hand and leverage tools to promote deeper client relationships, make planning a key focus, address credit and insurance, and use current motivation to spur action by finalizing unimplemented plans or updating a will.

In this new environment, it may take some experimentation to figure out what works, but we are here to help you efficiently and effectively move forward.

4. Given the ongoing impact of COVID-19, will Envestnet continue to update the playbook? If so, how can advisors receive an updated version?

The playbook will be updated every quarter, at a minimum. Advisors who download it will receive a notification when an updated version is available.

5. Are there additional resources advisors can leverage to better support their clients in line with the trends and best practices outlined in the playbook?

Yes, we have a range of resources available to help you put the playbook into use in your practice. Some examples include:

  • A weekly review of advisor behavior trends during market volatility, based on our data. This is available on Envestnet Institute.
  • Complimentary access to MyBlocks™ for a limited time for you, your clients and prospects, and employees of enterprise customers and their families.
  • Limited-time direct access to digital courses from EVERFI, Inc. for K-12 students nationwide at no cost. You can share this resource with clients and prospects.
  • A flipbook will soon be available with a series of worksheets to help you engage with clients, conduct client reviews, address important life transitions, and more. This will be accessible on Envestnet Institute.
  • A virtual training series will be available in the fall of 2020 to help you better understand the trends taking place and what you can do in your own practice to address them. More details will be coming soon.

6. What else is Envestnet doing to support its clients at this time?

We are continuously seeking new and more innovative ways to better anticipate the needs of you and your clients. We’re continuing to rapidly invest in our infrastructure to enable more firms to bring their systems into the cloud, become more agile, and connect with a broader ecosystem, including asset managers, lenders, and insurance providers. Our platform is extraordinarily robust, and we’ll continue to modernize the interface, user experience, and integrations across the board to enable simple, intuitive, and transformative capabilities. We are also providing the training, education, and support you need to leverage our platform, including new tools or features or those that you have maybe never engaged with before.

I hope you’ll download the playbook and review the content. We’re here to answer any questions you may have and support you in navigating a path forward.

The information, analysis and opinions expressed herein are for informational purposes only and do not necessarily reflect the views of Envestnet. These views reflect the judgment of the author as of the date of writing and are subject to change at any time without notice. Nothing contained in this piece is intended to constitute legal, tax, accounting, securities, or investment advice, nor an opinion regarding the appropriateness of any investment, nor a solicitation of any type.

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