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Optimize Client Reviews with Technology and Finpsych

Joe Buhrmann April 16, 2024

A financial advisor holding a review meeting with clients.

Mid-year and annual reviews are common deliverables in any financial professional’s service calendar. Regular reviews are critical because financial planning is an ongoing process rather than a single end point. As your client’s life evolves, their plan must be continuously monitored and adjusted. But how can financial professionals make the most of their time and conduct efficient, effective reviews for all their clients?

Our research has found that advisors who embrace tech-forward and FinPsych-forward practices see the best client results overall.1 Here, we’ll discuss how you can leverage technology and financial psychology practices when you are preparing for and conducting mid-year or annual review meetings.

How to Leverage Technology for Greater Productivity

Advisors have shared that they spend approximately four hours preparing for a typical client review meeting.2 If you have 19 client review meetings per month, that translates to 75 hours. If advisors can decrease that by even 10 percent through better automation and processes, they can gain an extra day every month.

Technology can be the path to productivity and allow advisors to conduct reviews more efficiently. If you are looking to maximize your efficiency, look for financial planning technology that offers the following features:

  • Account aggregation: This ensures the most up-to-date information is feeding into a client’s financial plan and removes the legwork of manual updates.
  • Client questionnaire: The questionnaire you use as part of your client onboarding process can also be used ahead of a mid-year or annual review. Your clients’ answers may have changed since the first time they filled it out, which could impact your review and recommendations.
  • Tasks and reminders: The ability to create tasks and send reminders to your clients will help ensure that any necessary action items are completed ahead of your review meeting.
  • Document uploading and storage: A feature that allows your clients to upload and securely store documents is a convenient way to keep everything in one place and ensure you have access to the information you need to review their financial plan.
  • Interactive scenario planning tools: These tools will allow you to show your clients the impacts their financial decisions have on their plans. Being able to get real-time, immediate feedback from your clients will make it easier for you to make prompt recommendations for their plan going forward.

By utilizing technology with these convenient, time-saving features, you can reduce the time you spend preparing for review meetings and conduct them more effectively.

3 Ways to Implement Financial Psychology in Review Meetings

There are many ways to incorporate financial psychology (finpsych) practices into the financial planning process. The following are a few key practices that you can start implementing during your mid-year or annual review meetings.

1. Be Your Client’s Accountability Partner

First, help your clients be accountable for changes to their behavior. You can give your clients (and yourself) tasks to do to keep them engaged in the process. But not too many. You don’t want to overwhelm your clients—you want to be encouraging. You could start with three tasks and have your client own one of them.

Be gentle and remain aware that change is never easy. Help them see that small changes, given time, can have dramatic impacts. Maintaining a regular cadence of check-ins, including mid-year and annual review meetings, is one way to help them feel accountable so they can track their progress and update their goals when necessary.

2. Be Aware of Herd Mentality

Herd mentality is a bias that occurs when individuals are influenced by their peers to follow trends, purchase items, and adopt certain behaviors even when it’s not in their best interest. We are all subject to following the masses, so don’t be surprised if your client “falls off the wagon” and comes to your review meeting wanting to buy the latest hot stock, cryptocurrency, or another trending alternative.

You can approach these conversations from an angle of financial wellness and provide education to help them understand how making those financial decisions will impact their plan. Planners can ask their clients why they want to make a specific financial decision, and then compare that decision to the financial plan to see if it aligns. This will go a long way to help ensure that the actions clients are taking are actually right for them.

3. Be Mindful of Your Client’s Emotions

Money is an emotional subject, and every client you have is bringing their own experience to your conversations. Tapping into the emotional side of financial planning can help you strengthen your client relationships, better understand their perspective, and assist them in achieving their goals.

Combine Technology and Finpsych for Better Client Outcomes

Leveraging technology and incorporating finpsych practices into your client review meeting process will help you work more efficiently and more effectively while increasing your clients’ trust in you. Learn more about how combining technology and financial psychology can transform client outcomes in our eBook, The New Value Proposition for Value Advisors.

Sources:

1. eMoney Beyond the Plan Research, July 2023, n=504 advisors, n=1,003 end-client investors.

2. 2024 Connected Wealth Report. Advisor360°. 2024.

DISCLAIMER: The eMoney Advisor Blog is meant as an educational and informative resource for financial professionals and individuals alike. It is not meant to be, and should not be taken as financial, legal, tax or other professional advice. Those seeking professional advice may do so by consulting with a professional advisor. eMoney Advisor will not be liable for any actions you may take based on the content of this blog.

Image of Joe Buhrmann
About the Author

Joe serves as a Senior Financial Planning Practice Management Consultant at eMoney Advisor. With more than three decades in the financial services industry, Joe aligns his know-how and passion to help firms of all sizes increase usage, adoption, and engagement through a modern financial planning experience. He leverages his expertise and supports internal departments across the enterprise, helping Communications, Marketing, Relationship Management, and Sales. Joe attended Illinois State University, where he received his bachelor’s degree in Applied Computer Science and his MBA.

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