Competing With The "Robo-Advisors" Threatens RIA Business As Usual, Advisor Says

Tuesday, January 31, 2012 09:02
Competing With The

Tags: benchmarking | client satisfaction

Remember John Henry and the steam engine? Fighting automated advice on its own terms is a similar losing proposition in the eyes of at least one advisor.

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Great Q&A with Alex Murguia of Virginia RIA McLean Asset Management on how advisors can communicate the value they add in the face of new "robot" platforms.


In hindsight, it's a no-brain strategy to remind your clients how far you've gotten them on the way to their financial goals. And it's even better to share your win ratio with prospects.


But it requires a little thought toward benchmarking and follow-through.


Are you tracking the frequency with which your clients actually achieve their objectives? Success stories and examples are usually great conversation-starters, and few automated calculators can provide that kind of illustrated track record.


How well are your clients doing compared to the broad population and to other high-net-worth investors? That's a tougher one, but answering it is even more valuable because it demonstrates the value you add personally.


Wealthy people who don't have advisors have yet to be convinced that they'll do any better with one than without. And those who already have advisors need evidence that you'll do better for them than the people they have now.


You can always fall back on raw performance numbers, but you know better than I do that's a can of worms at best -- when it addresses the issue of client success at all.


Murguia hints at making tools available for advisors looking to answer these questions. It would be nice to get that kind of calculating power behind the desk instead of competing with the people in the industry.




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