FA-IQ reached out to top RIAs and broker-dealers ranked on the Financial Times FT 401 and FT 300 list of top advisors to ask them:
How often do you interact with each client? Do you follow a practice of engaging with a client at least once in a certain time frame?
Erin Scannell, of Heritage Wealth Advisors in Mercer Island, Wash., has been in business 21 years and his firm manages $2 billion:
We have a very robust service model where we do quarterly comprehensive wealth management reviews that over the year hit on our 120-point financial advice checklist.
Between those reviews, we have monthly proactive live contacts with our clients, in addition to regular electronic communication, monthly education events, client appreciation events, market updates, and wellness events.
That service model applies to all clients and doesn’t depend on the client or the trading day, and we engage with clients at least once a month.
We have seen studies that show that clients feel the most confident when their financial picture and goals are addressed comprehensively at least monthly.
Noting that this goes beyond just checking their investments, which many clients want to do more frequently, we believe when clients’ most important family goals are addressed regularly, confidence levels and financial outcomes go up dramatically.
H. Jude Boudreaux, of The Planning Center in New Orleans, has been in the business 19 years and his firm manages $800 million:
We meet every four months, as every three months seemed too often but every six months seemed like not enough. So, four has been working for us. It allows us to spread out client tasks and reviews throughout the year and seems to work for our clients, our firm, and our advisors.
We build tasks around the time of the year — for instance tax, estate planning, required minimum distributions, and even cash flow for summer travel. We try to keep momentum for everything for our clients.
Our first meeting of the year is an update of our clients' net worth, a wrap-up of last year’s happenings and a look forward to this year’s goals and preliminary tax items.
Mid-year, we meet to review all of the insurance components, educational goals, and also to take a deeper dive into household cash flow.
Late in the year we review estate documents and beneficiary designations. We ensure required minimum distributions are taken, and we complete any tax-related items prior to the year's end.
We don’t have a set schedule of unique emails to our clients, but each client gets a weekly email from our marketing team with our latest blog post and news about the firm.