Technology Enables Us to Serve Clients of Younger Generations, Disabled Clients and Non-English Speakers
Research shows that everyone benefits from access to objective and professional financial advice, regardless of age or ethnicity. And while everyone deserves solid financial advice, access to professional guidance continues to elude many segments of our population.
The right technology can help. With the right tools at their fingertips, advisors can assist a large pool of traditionally underserved groups: people with disabilities, non-English speakers and younger investors.
Independent RIAs in particular, can reinforce their inherent strengths in delivering objective and conflict-free financial advice. Additionally, they can elevate their role in helping historically disadvantaged communities across the country access financial advice through the strategic application of technology solutions aimed at enhancing accessibility.
Investing in a fully integrated tech stack that automates processes, securely stores documents, and unleashes advisor productivity is only the beginning. RIAs can discover new ways to expand their reach and range with client segments they might not have been able to effectively address – by harnessing the specific features in their tech stack or leveraging technology to empower the human side of the practice.
Clients with Physical Disabilities Can Benefit from a Personal Approach
Individuals with physical disabilities that impact their ability to consume information – including persons who are sight impaired or deaf – could benefit from easy-to-implement tech features. Researchers at UC Berkeley recently published “10 Tips for Making Your Website Accessible.” Much of the advice is simple and easy to implement, such as include proper alt text for images, give links unique and descriptive names, and using color with care.
Effective client communication is also key, and firmwide advisor training will help advisors on working with clients who are deaf or blind. Building trust, which can be more challenging between clients with disabilities and their advisors, should be the key driver in improving client communication by phone, email, or another more accessible avenue.
Non-English-Speaking Clients Need the Right Forms
The foreign-born population of the United States reached approximately 45 million, and Spanish is by far the most spoken non-English language in immigrant households, followed by Chinese and Hindi.
To engage this potential client base, it’s important to integrate key documents in multiple languages into your tech stack.
Reliable translation services that align with regulators, providers and clients should be available, helping provide non-English speakers equal access to advisory services.
Younger Investors Want More Advice, Their Way
Millennials and Gen Z clients will be on the receiving end of the largest generational wealth transfer in history and will need the support of financial advisors to manage what could be windfall gains. This demographic is more comfortable with communication via social media platforms and other emerging communications vehicles – and could benefit from the kind of access they have become accustomed to in their interactions with advisors.
Younger investors live in a world where they can negotiate big purchases, like cars, via text – then show up to sign the papers. Financial advice should feel equally accessible to millennial and Gen Z clients, who also may prefer investing strategies such as direct indexing or purchasing fractional shares that requires less capital.
Advisor outreach to younger clients can be limited, however. Many advisors aren’t allowed to send a simple text to their clients, because it needs to be tracked and archived. Advisors also use email and the phone as the primary means of communication, doubling the challenge of connecting with younger clients who shun phone calls.
Texts and communication features in a firm’s tech stack that can be stored or archived should be able to overcome the hurdle of building the right kind of relationship with this demographic, as advisors prepare for millennials and Gen Z inheriting over $30 trillion from baby boomers and the Silent Generation.
Everyone deserves solid financial advice. As technology redefines wealth management, workflow automation that can serve as a major building block in any tech stack buildout offers RIAs opportunities to reach their full potential and ensure everyone has access to advisory services.
Ryan George is the Chief Marketing Officer at Docupace. He is responsible for the company’s brand awareness, early-stage sales pipeline, content strategies, customer and industry insights, internal and external communications, design, and events. George actively engages in leadership roles in both the financial services and marketing communications communities. He a member of the Forbes Communications Council, an invitation-only, fee-based organization of senior-level communications and public relations executives, the CMO Council and the CMO Club.