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Client Communications - not a one-way street

At least every quarter, advisers send clients information about their accounts and investment performance and for most advisers, this is only the tip of the iceberg. Newsletters, required disclosures, the annual privacy notice, investment tips and research, invitations, inquiries, and more go out to clients on a very regular basis.

How about the other direction? Sure, clients call advisers when they are worried about the market, particularly in a downturn and may call when they want to buy a particular investment they have heard about. But how good are most clients at keeping their advisers up to date with changes in their lives, new developments and goals that not only impact how they should be invested but any planning that has previously been done? In this age of instant communications, are your clients remembering to let you know, too? 
The best clients we have worked with have thought to let the adviser know when something new is happening in their lives and to ascertain how it may affect their future plans and investments  Client retention gets a boost when the client is involved enough to initiate conversations and not just respond, or not, to your performance reports and newsletters.  

So how might one get clients sufficiently involved to actually initiate contact when things change (and not simply because of a market slump)? Clients not only need to understand the advisory process and its value to them but also need to buy into that process and act upon it. Educating clients about the importance of accurate and timely information from them to you and how it affects the quality of advice is critical to get them to act. 

What is your approach to getting clients to take initiative? What has worked for you?

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