Thinking about best practice for advisers in the ever evolving aftermath of last week’s vote. Here are some thoughts – we hope you’ll find some of use in your business.
- The financial services community are not a mirror for the country so some/many of your clients will have voted to leave. We must all be careful to recognize this in client communications and conversations.
- Find out what your clients are thinking - only then can you devise a communication plan.
- Communicate with clients. If you wait for the dust to settle, you may miss the boat…. And silence may foster anxiety.
- Communicate with regularity – in times of uncertainty regular well balanced communication can reassure – what frequency? Depends partly on your style – but perhaps every month for now and then move to a lower frequency?
- E comms including social media
- Seminars / Webinars
- One to one – f2f or tele based
- And not forgetting the traditional letter!
Communications content? Beware of easy conclusions – at time of writing the FTSE100 is slightly up on its pre Brexit position, though the FTSE 250 may be a better Brexit benchmark and it’s down. It’s tempting to simply say that long term client plans should not be derailed or materially adjusted by a single event – but there are many factors contributing to current uncertainty:-
- PM leadership contest with the previous favoutiute now not standing
- Possible early election once Tory leader in place
- Opposition in severe difficulties
- Possible/ probable Scottish exit referendum
- Possible moves to re-open Irish discussions
- Probability that EU will be highly robust in its approach to negotiations – with the end of the single market
- Possible new recession in UK
- Possible further European referenda – general European contagion effect
- Interest rates further downward [pressure unless pound drifts further downwards?
- Unpredictable short term correlation between markets and the economy
- At same time towards the end of the year we may see many more positive signs of vitality with new deals throughout the world and some early clarity on life outside the EU.
- Be aware of the impact of uncertainty on client risk responses – important that risk appetite is not unnaturally dampened – otherwise clients risk losing upside.
- But this may be the time to reconsider what options are available to protect capital and / or to access lower risk investment solutions.
- Use provider material where its client complied – but be conscious that some provider messages will vary, may tend to be positive in all circumstances and of course you won’t agree with all of it.
- If you operate with a CIP then consider how, if at all the current situation should effect strategy and tactics. If you operate with adviser led portfolio creation then it would seem prudent at this time to ensure practice level knowledge and involvement in portfolio construction and management.
- Do you manage all the assets of all of your clients? If not, then change like this makes a case for at the very least, oversight of most or all of a client’s assets
- New clients – either those who are currently DIY, or those who have new sources of instable capital. This, we can all agree is objectively the time to be seeking professional advice