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Today’s financial DIY-er has a wealth of technology solutions to choose from to help them manage their portfolios, from robo-advisors to investing apps. Once considered the realm of younger, more adventurous investors with fewer assets, some well-established firms are trying to snag older, wealthier clients with new tech offerings. While automation and tech have irreversibly changed the way we look at our finances, findings from a recent survey of alternative asset investors from The Beneficient Company Group, L.P. show that a surprising majority of investors continue to rely on the guidance of their human financial professionals, whether that’s a wealth manager, family offices, RIA, or general partners. And, as markets have turned more volatile, the perceived value of guidance from an experienced, knowledgeable human partner is likely to increase.
The Ben Liquidity Report™: Alternative Asset Investors, Their Behaviors and Wealth Attitudes surveyed 600 mid-to-high net worth (MHNW) individual investors across the U.S. who hold alternative investments. Not only did the survey show that MHNW investors value the expertise of their financial professionals, but it also further revealed what they want from their advisors as clients. With these three data-driven insights, your wealth management firm or family office can develop strategies to better serve your existing clients and even attract new ones.
Be the Expert Partner Your Clients Want
Some findings in The Ben Liquidity Report seem to indicate that MHNW investors prefer a high level of interactivity with their wealth manager or family office. For example, when asked to describe the circumstance(s) which led them to invest in alternative assets, respondents gave the following answers:
Interestingly, the communication that led to actual investments in alternative assets flowed both ways, with both the client and the advisor making suggestions in a collaborative environment. Nurturing this kind of interactivity can help your clients’ portfolios and your practice thrive.
Be Readily Available and Accessible
The pandemic and ensuing months of isolation saw a meteoric rise in the popularity of video conferencing. Although that popularity has receded somewhat, we find ourselves in a new world where Zoom and Skype have joined the roster of digital and traditional communication channels open to your clients. Our research indicates that MHNWs expect to interact with their financial professionals regularly and via a variety of channels, with 71% engaging with their advisors via phone, email, or video conference at least every two weeks. Adding a further dimension, a full 83% of MHNWs report that they engage with their advisors in person at least monthly, suggesting we’ve returned to a pre-pandemic preference for face-to-face interactions. Your takeaway here is to be present and available through whatever is your clients’ preferred means of communication.
Use Meaningful Technology to Enhance Your Services
In any given book of business, you’re going to have clients who are early and enthusiastic tech adopters, as well as clients who still struggle to open an email, and everything in between. Findings from The Ben Liquidity Report support this. A thorough analysis of the data revealed several distinct personas, each with their own motivations, behaviors, and attitudes and, it’s interesting to note that each persona has varying levels of comfort with technology. For example, Control Seekers and Savvy Savers tend to wait to try new technologies until they’re introduced to it by a peer. On the other hand, Engaged Altruists and Community Entrepreneurs actively seek out new tools and technologies. Therefore, it’s unwise to have an all-or-nothing approach to using technology in your financial services practice. Rather, the wiser choice would be to have strategic platforms available for clients who are comfortable and interested in using them.
The importance of the financial advisor cannot be overstated: according to The Ben Liquidity Report, 81% of MHNW investors prefer to work with their financial professional to obtain liquidity for their alternative assets. With that relevance comes a sense of duty to the client to provide the highest level of service possible, by providing the expert advice when and how your client needs, by remaining open and available to communicate, and by utilizing fintech in meaningful ways.
At Ben, we have crafted a suite of reliable, ongoing liquidity solutions for investors in alternative assets. Our process seeks to give investors access to hard-earned investment capital, with liquidity provided from our own balance sheet. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our expert team.
Download the full The Ben Liquidity Report to read more about the attitudes, behaviors and liquidity needs of mid-to-high net worth U.S. alternative asset investors. Contact us today to discuss what Ben’s secondary market liquidity solutions could mean for you.