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    What makes clients happy? Unfortunately for advisors, each person’s recipe for “happiness” is different. So, how do advisors work toward a goal of making clients happy when “happy” is so subjective?

    Even across demographics, happiness often derives from similar sources:

    • Enjoying connection/community
    • A sense of purpose
    • Security

    A recent study established that people working with financial advisors are happier than others1. It’s an impressive outcome… and independent financial advisors must nurture their client relationships to maintain this level of satisfaction. One proven method advisors have relied on to raise client engagement: redirecting their time toward client-centric activities that add value.

    By outsourcing select front, mid, and back-office responsibilities to a third party, advisors can gain back as many as 8 hours per week2, allowing them to re-invest in their business where they can add the most value: building client relationships.

    Let’s examine these three elements of happiness more closely and look at the role outsourcing can play in elevating the client experience.

    Connection/Community

    Numerous studies show that strong social relationships are the most consistent predictor of a happy life.3  ndeed, the Harvard Study of Adult Development, one of the world’s longest studies of adult life, found that close relationships are what keep people happy throughout their lives, protecting them from the effects of life’s disappointments, and helping to delay mental and physical decline. According to the study, strong social relationships are better predictors of long and happy lives than social class, IQ, or genetics.4

     Successful independent financial advisors with thriving client relationships understand the importance of connecting with clients regularly and meaningfully. High-net-worth clients in particular expect white glove service and respond positively to outreach by their financial advisors. But, carving out a few extra hours for this key activity is not . That’s where outsourcing investment management responsibilities can help. How? It frees up valuable time. One of the most common reasons advisors outsource investment management is to spend more time with their clients, with 75% of advisors allocating more time to building client relationships after they outsource. Eight out of ten advisors agree that investment management outsourcing has better enabled them to strengthen client relationships.5

    Financial advisors can also use free time created by outsourcing to develop and deepen their own relationships by ramping up community outreach and engagement efforts. The work/life balance generated by outsourcing can benefit advisors, clients, and their communities.

    Purpose

    Purpose is doing something considered to be worthwhile… something that feeds the spirit. It doesn’t need to change the world, or even impact anyone else. It’s a manifestation of values and dreams. It can be work or a hobby. Self-care or caring for a loved one. Building a business or establishing a charity. Or tackling the top 100 books everyone should read before they die.6

    Having purpose positively affects everything from mortality rates7 to better self-care habits, and yes, increased levels of happiness.8 For many, purpose means contributing to something larger than themselves via charitable works or creating a legacy that will continue to have an impact for generations to come.

    Financial advisors are uniquely positioned to leverage their skills to help clients, and themselves, channel resources purposefully. Eighty-seven percent of HNW clients expect their financial advisor to provide support in the charitable/philanthropic planning area, but only 6% actually receive those services.9

    Successful advisors engage their clients to learn about their goals in this arena and help them make their legacy a reality. Many look to make a bigger impact themselves – and perhaps grow their businesses – by volunteering or joining the board of an organization that matters to them. It’s all possible with the time that outsourcing provides.

    Security

    It’s been said that money can’t buy happiness. But, it can buy security, and not just the physical kind. Financial security reduces stress. And, when stress decreases, happiness increases.

    In one study10, 522 participants tracked daily events and their emotional responses to them for 30 days. The study found: 

    • There was no significant difference in how often the participants experienced distress – they noted a similar number of daily frustrations at all income levels. But those with higher incomes experienced less negative intensity from those events.
    • More affluent participants felt they had more control over negative occurrences, believing they had better capacity to deal with difficulties.
    • People with higher incomes were generally more satisfied with their lives.

    Financial insecurity impacts many facets of life, moving beyond the individual and affecting those around them. In a 2020 study 21% percent of respondents indicated financial insecurity impacted their relationship with a partner/spouse at least once a month, and 19% said it had a monthly impact on their job performance.11

    Lastly, financial security is among the most cited factors for what makes life meaningful: almost one in five respondents in a recent study mentioned “material well-being” when asked what gives them meaning in life.12

    Financial advisors play an integral part in shaping the financial success of their clients and communities. Outsourcing asset management has proven to be a key driver of long-term investment success.

    According to AssetMark’s The Impact of Outsourcing whitepaper, 98% of advisors who outsource investment management say they are delivering better investment solutions as a result by, among other things:

    • offering greater oversight of portfolios,
    • providing access to a broader range of products, and
    • improving investment performance 

    Over the past decade or two, the study of happiness has expanded, garnering the attention of academics and medical researchers alike. Financial advisors, who are committed to promoting positive outcomes for their clients, are paying attention to the research. When it comes to creating and maintaining client success, many deploy this best practice: determine what creates client satisfaction…and then do more of it.

    Outsourcing investment management to a third-party asset manager offers tangible benefits to advisors and clients…benefits that have an immediate impact on one’s quality of life.

    Learn how the AssetMark advantage can make a positive, meaningful, and long-lasting difference for financial advisors and their clients by scheduling a consultation today.

     

    ***

    1. Herbers & Company, 2021 Consumer Financial Behaviors Study

    2. The Impact of Outsourcing White Paper, AssetMark

    3.  https://thriveglobal.com/stories/relationships-happiness-well-being-life-lessons/

    4. https://www.adultdevelopmentstudy.org

    5. The Impact of Outsourcing White Paper, AssetMark

    6. https://www.businessinsider.com/100-books-everyone-should-read-amazon-goodreads-2015-3

    7. Association Between Life Purpose and Mortality Among US Adults Older Than 50 Years, 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.4270

    8. 10 Powerful Benefits of Living With Purpose | Psychology Today

    9. Source: Spectrem Group; Wealth Management Redefined 2021

    10. https://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/more-proof-that-money-can-buy-happiness

    11. https://news.northwesternmutual.com/planning-and-progress-2020

    12. https://www.pewresearch.org/global/2021/11/18/what-makes-life-meaningful-views-from-17-advanced-economies/

     

    AssetMark

    AssetMark is a leading provider of extensive wealth management and technology solutions that help financial advisors meet the ever-changing needs of their clients and businesses.


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