The On-Demand Antidote to Media Mayhem that Keeps Clients on Track

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Jim Cramer just blew his horn! I can hear the scurry of little feet scrambling to buy and sell positions, fueled by the hyper-activity of a stock promoter. Emotion is driving them. Data is not necessary. The media mayhem they just witnessed is all the motivation needed. 

This is the world we live in. What was once news is now simply noise. He or she who yells the loudest becomes the influencer. We’re not talking just financial advice here. Sadly, the masses are more likely to be swayed by opinions over facts. Attention is captured by theatrics.

In this article, we’ll point out different ways Blueleaf can help financial advisors interrupt the “noise” cycle and more effectively communicate and engage with their clients. These actions have been core components of our platform since we first developed it.

Counteracting the “CNBC Effect” with Automated Financial Updates

Mad Money isn’t the only show that clients are watching on CNBC. Though branded as a “news” outlet, the network is stocked (pun intended) with promoters who have corporate and political agendas — definitely not fiduciaries. Clients, unfortunately, listen to these folks.

Blueleaf automated financial updates can counteract the CNBC effect. These branded, updates position you as an authority that clients can trust when financial questions arise. You control the frequency, allowing your advice to remain top of mind, even when “noise” breaks.

Justin Shepard’s blog post from 2015 about “panicked clients” highlights just how impactful these updates can be. In short, one advisor feared the worst after receiving panicked call after panicked call from clients. Assuming it was Blueleaf financial updates that set his clients off, he called to cancel the service. A bit of digging revealed that none of the clients who had called were set up to receive Blueleaf updates. They were tuned into CNBC and, without the context that Blueleaf updates provide, had surrendered to the frenzy.

The Blueleaf Approach: Filter the noise with client-centric information

Filter the noise. Control the conversation. That’s what Blueleaf is all about. Our core product has been classified as a reporting system, a client portal, and a data aggregation engine. Those are all true, but none of them is our primary function.

Blueleaf’s core product is a client engagement platform. Our system gives the advisor tools to filter out the noise for clients and provide factual reporting and professional insights. Clients are searching for those answers. They can get them from you — their advisor — or turn to CNBC and Google for advice. 

In 2011, sending a regular financial update to clients by email was a radical idea. No one else would even think of doing it. Today, it’s our most popular feature. Regular communication helps the advisor control the conversation. Those regular emails provide context for discussion.

Regular Branded Communication Calms Clients

We speak with our advisors frequently to get their insights on how our platform is working. On the subject of regular, automated communications, they claim it makes clients calmer and easier to service. That’s the opposite of what many of them expected.

If you go back a decade or two, the Blueleaf approach was contrary to everything we were taught about being a financial advisor. Clients didn’t need to know everything. Keeping them away from their statements was better for their emotional well-being. Just trust the advisor.

In 2020, the most common reason clients fire their advisor is lack of communication. When an advisor doesn’t provide answers, they go elsewhere. That’s why applications like Robinhood and Acorns have millions of users. Neither of them has any problem frequently communicating with clients.

Helping Clients Develop Good Habits with Advisor Engagement

How well does the Blueleaf system work? According to our internal research, 75% of clients receiving regular branded communications from their advisor interact with their financial information at least once a month. 100% of them do so at least quarterly.

In 2014, Eric Roberge, blogger and financial planner from Boston, contributed a post to our blog about teaching clients to “brush their teeth.” In it, he quotes author Charles Duhigg, “Without habit loops, our brains would shut down, overwhelmed by the minutiae of daily life.”

Obviously, the oral care analogy is metaphorical. The point Eric was making is that training clients to have good habits can keep them from stressing about finance. One of those habits is to go to their advisor first when market conditions are shaky. Blueleaf helps them do that.

“Without habit loops, our brains would shut down, overwhelmed by the minutiae of daily life.”

Charles Duhigg, Journalist & Author

The Blueleaf Client Portal Offers On-Demand Access

Our regular financial update emails contain light, simple, consolidated information. They are not designed to replace a performance report. We’ve learned that most clients actually throw those in a drawer. They might read the summary page but barely glance at the deeper analysis.

If clients are interested in performance, the Blueleaf client portal contains performance reporting that updates every day. That’s not just on managed accounts. Clients can add held-away accounts using our aggregation engine. They can also bring in liabilities, credit cards, and bank accounts.

Advisors can control and direct client conversations when they use our portal. Bringing all accounts into one place eliminates the need for clients to go elsewhere. Both have access to that data at all times, so the advisor becomes the go-to for everything.

Using Personalization as a Weapon against Media Mayhem

CNBC has an international audience and can crank out content twenty-four hours a day. None of it is personalized to clients. Advisors should keep this in mind when trying to overcome the CNBC effect. Emphasize to clients that no one else is working specifically for them.

Branded emails, with information and reporting relevant only to the recipient, are a good way to demonstrate your value to a client. Sending those emails regularly reminds them that only the advisor has their best interests at heart. Jim Cramer certainly doesn’t care about their financial well-being.

There’s a lot of noise out there. Keep your clients engaged with Blueleaf and they won’t be affected by it. Stay silent and they’ll look to go elsewhere.

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Also published on Medium.

Kevin D. Flynn is a former Head Coach at Blueleaf, founder of AdvisorScale Financial Writing, and Managing Editor at October Golf Magazine.