Financial planning is an increasingly critical service for financial advisors, according to new research on the U.S. wealth management industry.
The report from Boston-based Cerulli Associates finds that U.S. advisors are increasingly offering financial planning services for their clients. One-half of advisors surveryed offered ongoing planning to clients in 2017, up from one-third in 2013.
The increase was driven by advisors who see the benefit to their businesses, and by clients who are increasingly understanding the importance of planning to their financial situation, Cerulli says.
Cerulli’s research finds that planning can uncover gaps in clients’ financial lives.
“There are some subjects that clients have long neglected or purposefully avoided because they are uncomfortable to raise. The financial planning process can shed light on these areas, giving clients an opportunity to finally address those lingering items. Advisors who are able to effectively navigate clients through this process build trust along the way,” says Marina Shtyrkov, research analyst at Cerulli, in a statement.
“A key value of financial planning is its likelihood to aid client retention,” she adds. “Advisors who can skillfully and compassionately guide clients through emotional financial decisions stand to profit with strong, loyal client relationships.”