The Accelerating Trend Toward Holistic Advice

As clients become increasingly technology savvy and financially sophisticated, it’s incumbent on advisors to evolve with the times. Better yet, advisors need to stay ahead of the curve and anticipate the needs of an ever-demanding client base.

A foundation for advisors includes prioritizing innovative, holistic thinking. Of course, it pays to have a partner on this front. Enter Axos Advisor Services. At a time when cookie-cutter approaches overwhelm the menu of advisor services, Axos stands out with capabilities that allow registered investment advisors (RIAs) to efficiently grow fee-based businesses, potentially expanding client rosters and revenue streams in the process.

That’s highly relevant at a time when the term “fiduciary” is being touted and the line between various advisory types is blurring. And clients want more from their financial advisors than just investment management. As people live longer and healthier lives, they require a broader array of services to meet their changing circumstances and needs. They want an advisor who supports their entire financial wellness and an experience that reflects their advisor understands their overall financial picture.

Holistic Is the Way Forward

According to a survey conducted by Broadridge Financial Solutions, more than half (51%) of financial advisors said they are increasing their focus on providing holistic financial planning services to their clients. Younger advisors (those under age 40) were four times more likely than older advisors (those over age 55) to perceive high value in offering holistic services.

“RIAs are encouraging their advisors to adopt financial planning and deliver advice, instead of just being focused on product sales,” says Mike Watson, Head of RIA Custody at Axos Advisor Services. One way of looking at this scenario is that broker-dealers and wirehouses encroaching on territory previously controlled by RIAs is a warning shot. Translation: Advisors need to up their games and offer clients much more than just basic investment advice and portfolio management services.

Don’t Just Say it. Do it.

As Watson notes, many advisory practices are using flowery language to convince clients of the fact that their firm is in fact broad-based. However, underneath the veneer of eloquent verbiage often time lies a bare bones product menu that’s highly vulnerable to competition.

“Before, if you were an RIA, your independent advice was really focused on financial planning. That was your differentiator,” adds Watson. “However, as the convergence of different advisory business models continues, advisors need to think and act more holistically for their clients. Simply being an independent RIA is no longer good enough.”

Moving Beyond the Norm

Traditionally, advisors are seen as specialists. However, an opportunity is afoot for the industry to evolve beyond those narrow confines and offer clients more. They’re asking for it and it’s the future.

“To be a holistic advisor in 2022, you need to be committed to solving all of your clients’ financial needs, not just their investment management needs,” says Watson. “This is where our industry has a huge opportunity to move beyond the perception of being a specialist that a client hires when they want someone to manage their investments, to the professional you hire when you're looking for a partner that's going to assist with all your major financial decisions. This includes investment management but is certainly not limited to just investments.”

A holistic advisory firm is nimble, adept and provides services ranging from traditional financial advice to insurance, lending products and banking services, among others. With data confirming clients feel as though they need advisors now more than ever, the time is right to offer a broader breadth of services and perhaps take some cues from younger advisors.

“Younger advisors know that their clients expect more than just investment management sprinkled with some light financial planning, particularly with the younger generation of investors. To resonate with a younger investor segment, an advisor may need to retool their services, pricing, and their overall engagement model,” concludes Watson.

Related: Build the Holistic Offering Your Clients Need with Mike Watson

Axos Advisor Services is an RIA custodian that delivers individualized attention, intuitive technology, and knowledgeable consulting support you need to take your business to the next level and beyond. Learn more here.