AdviceWorks Success Story – How Dynamic Technology Drives Client Engagement

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With the advancement of do-it-yourself trading apps and low-cost investment management services, client expectations have evolved. It’s not enough for them to feel they are getting solid financial advice; greater emphasis is being placed on interpersonal experiences, accessibility and a sense of real collaboration. There are plenty of technology tools that connect you to your clients, but how many can help you foster a more human relationship with them? AdviceWorks™, Cetera’s advisor and client portal, has helped advisors like Michael D. Fields, CFP®, EA drive deeper client engagement.

Fields compares the growth of fintech platforms to the evolution of cars. He reveres the 1967 Corvette Sting Ray Convertible but drives a 2017 Land Rover Discovery every day. Over the years, cars have incorporated human elements like back-up cameras and heated seats to create a curated driving experience. Even with all these features, cars are still simple to use and get us from here to there with ease. AdviceWorks is like the brand-new car of financial planning—made of many elements designed to intuitively create better experiences for clients and advisors—yet simple to use and takes us where we want to go.

Michael Fields

For Fields, AdviceWorks has helped create a more modern and dynamic way of delivering financial planning-based advice, compared to producing a physically bound plan that captured only a moment in time. It doesn’t have to be complicated, Fields reinforced; simply adopting key features like secure document storage and creating a collaborative financial planning experience can move the needle with clients. Clients have simply come to expect the kind of interactive features AdviceWorks delivers, which allow them to engage the way they want, when they want.

AdviceWorks advisor and client portals keep both parties connected across time, space, and device. Its design fosters collaboration, helping clients feel more engaged in the pursuit of their financial well-being when they’re not directly engaging with their advisor. Current features include the provision of a fully compliant cloud-based document storage, linked accounts to illustrate a complete financial picture, and goal setting and financial planning, while day-to-day operational processes like money movement and account maintenance help drive business.

A common myth with adopting fintech platforms is that older clients have a harder time with technology. “That’s not the case,” Fields said. “The [AdviceWorks] document storage feature has proven useful with older clients who use it and accept it as a secure and easy-to-use place to upload documents, especially useful during tax season.” It functions just like Google Docs, except it’s backed up with multiple layers of security, located in the same portal advisors use daily and where clients view their complete financial picture. It’s a safe place to upload, store and send documents that may need to be signed. Furthermore, built-in notifications alert both advisors and clients when something is uploaded so no correspondence is missed.

“The cloud-based document storage feature has proven to be a value add for prospects, too,” Fields added. When bringing a prospective client in, Fields can engage them in the process by allowing them an easy-to-use tool to upload key documents important to the discovery and transition process.

The days of presenting a printed copy of a financial plan are fleeting. Advisors now compete with asset manager platforms that provide interactive modules and features to help them view hypothetical scenarios, make their own plan adjustments, and more. With AdviceWorks, Fields has fintech that not only competes, but goes one better.

The financial planning feature in AdviceWorks, gives clients an online, flexible and, most importantly, a 24/7 interactive view and change their life goals and plans. On the receiving end, advisors can see the results of client interactions with the tool and use the data for the planning process. Though these features may be found in other fintech solutions, Fields explained, “clients have been excited about the portal, but they’re more excited about greater interaction with me, their advisor. They are still seeking the knowledge of an expert and want to consult with you.”

While some might have feared that technology would erode the advisor-client relationship, for advisors like Mike Fields, AdviceWorks proves it’s indispensable.

For more information on AdviceWorks and insights into how Cetera is developing technology solutions to help financial professionals transcend transactions and grow deeper relationships, contact the Cetera Business Development team at 800.336.8842.

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