Written by: InvestCloud
Reporting is an essential component of wealth management. Monthly or quarterly, it is a key focus of the traditional client and adviser relationship. But in a time of social distancing and increasing dependence on technology, the face-to-face and paper-based format is beginning to look antiquated.
Reporting will always have a place beyond simply giving figures, gains and losses. It is an opportunity for wealth managers to build trust, familiarity and rapport with their clients. Managers achieve this through establishing real empathy when explaining changes to their client’s portfolios — something particularly vital during challenging times such as recessions and other periods of economic influx.
This continues to hold true. But these interactions must now also be digital — and with that, deliberate attention needs to be paid in order to ensure things truly translate. It’s imperative that modern digital reporting goes beyond “traditional thinking” of sending over a PDF and following up with a phone call, to deliver real value and empathy to a client.
Intuitive and holistic reporting
Contrary to what investors themselves might believe, finance — and in particular investing — is a very emotionally driven activity. Finance is one of the major causes of stress and anxiety to people, regardless of their measure of wealth.
Wealth managers have built a business that effectively takes a significant amount of stress away from their clients. But turbulent market conditions mean wealth managers’ guidance and advice is needed more than ever.
Reporting plays a key part in this. But this can no longer be a static, stale view coupled with commentary.
Good digital reporting is intuitive and comprehensive. This means that it provides clients with a holistic view of all their investment information and is accessible any time, any place and via any device. This is key to not just maintaining a transparent relationship through digital channels, but to actually increasing engagement with clients.
Advisers can achieve this through data aggregation – the process of pulling information from different sources into one view. For managers, this involves collecting account data from internal and external sources – custodians, portfolio accounts, performance data, private assets, real estate and properties, alongside held away client assets. Storing this data in a time series manner can help to display how a portfolio looked at the close of the month, or how it looks for the same period.
This provides clients, sometimes for the first time, with a look at their true financial landscape. It can open the door for more robust conversations, improve opportunities for client education and undoubtedly expand the adviser-client relationship.