What Clients Look for in a Financial Advisor

Chloe Schmidt

By: Chloe Schmidt, Marketing Consultant at Asset Marketing Systems

Written On: January 3rd, 2024

In the complex and every-changing world of personal finance, individuals turn to financial advisors for guidance, expertise, and a roadmap to secure their financial future. As financial landscapes continue to evolve, the role of a financial advisor extends beyond basic investment advice. In this article, we will delve into the key elements that financial advisors must provide their clients, as well as the traits that clients look for in a financial advisor.

Customized Investment Strategies

Crafting personalized investment strategies is at the core of a financial advisor’s role. Advisors must take into account a client’s risk tolerance, time horizon, and financial objectives when developing an investment portfolio. Diversification, asset allocation, and ongoing monitoring are crucial elements to ensure that the investment strategy remains aligned with the client’s evolving needs.

Retirement Planning

Retirement planning is a cornerstone of financial advisory services, and it requires careful consideration of various factors. Advisors must assist clients in setting realistic retirement goals, estimating future expenses, and creating a savings strategy. Regular reviews and adjustments to the retirement plan ensure that clients stay on track to achieve their financial independence goals.

Estate Planning Guidance

Beyond retirement, financial advisors need to guide clients through the intricacies of estate planning. This involves creating wills, establishing trusts, and addressing tax implications to preserve and transfer wealth efficiently. By providing comprehensive estate planning services, financial advisors help clients leave a lasting legacy while minimizing potential financial burdens for heirs.

Risk Management and Insurance

Financial security goes hand in hand with risk management. Advisors should work with clients to assess their insurance needs, including life, health, and long-term care insurance. Mitigating risks through appropriate insurance coverage ensures that unforeseen events do not derail a client’s financial plan.

Tax Planning Strategies

Taxes are a significant consideration in financial planning. Advisors must be well-versed in tax regulations and help clients optimize their tax positions. This includes exploring tax-efficient investment strategies, taking advantage of available deductions, and implementing effective tax planning measures to maximize after-tax returns.

Education Planning

For clients with children, education planning is a vital aspect of their financial journey. Financial advisors can guide clients in setting aside funds for education expenses, exploring education savings accounts, and considering tax-advantaged options to fund their children’s education.

However, clients aren’t just looking for specific services financial advisors can provide them with. They are also seeking out key characteristics within the individual that make them feel secure and confident that they can trust their financial future with them.

Traits Clients Look For:

Here is a list of traits that prospective clients are looking for in a financial advisor:

Understanding Clients’ Unique Needs

Financial planning isn’t a one-size fits all solution. It takes intricate planning to help clients achieve their unique goals. While there is an abundance of financial advisors that are market experts, those that can relate market fluctuations to their client’s needs rise above the rest. Financial advisors that possess this skill make clients feel confident that they can ride the ebbs and flows of the economy without risking their financial security.


Clients aren’t looking for a salesperson that’s nailed their pitch. They are looking for someone that can relate to them and understand their financial goals. Having people-skills is an often-overlooked trait that financial advisors should really focus on improving. While it is easy for the environment to become sterile when discussing money, it is in fact a deeply personal topic. Therefore, having the people-skills to empathize with clients is crucial.

Providing Holistic Solutions

Clients are looking for a one-stop shop when it comes to their financial planning. Just as you don’t like commuting to multiple grocery stores to fulfill your shopping list, clients don’t want to have to look for multiple financial advisors to meet all their needs. Therefore, financial advisors should aim to provide holistic solutions for the following:

  • Retirement planning
  • Legacy planning
  • Estate planning
  • Business planning
  • Investing

Communication Skills

The most important thing clients look for in a financial advisor is someone they can trust, and trust heavily relies on good communication. Most clients expect frequent updates on their assets and assurance their plan is still the best course of action to meet their goals. However, communication transcends just verbal interactions. Nowadays, individuals also wants other points of contact, including:

  • Social media
  • Emails
  • Text alerts
  • Phone calls

Ability and Willingness to Educate

People go to advisors to learn more about the market and how to better manage their finances. Otherwise, they would do their own financial planning. As with anything, people are more comfortable in situations that they are familiar with. Therefore, advisors should prioritize educating their clients on how they are managing their finances and why. However, this does not mean throwing economic and financial jargon around to impress. Instead, breaking down complex models into more digestible context puts clients as ease as they are able to understand how their finances are managed.

Professional Networking Skills

In the case that a financial advisor is not able to completely meet their client’s financial needs, they should have a contact that can. Having an extensive professional network enables advisors to seek out a solution from other providers when they are unable to fulfill a client’s request. Otherwise, they risk jeopardizing their client retention.

Drive for Better Returns

Clients often seek professional help when they aren’t receiving their desired return. Therefore, financial advisors should have various options at the ready for clients looking to try out different solutions. This is especially important for clients that already have a financial advisor that they are looking to replace due to lackluster returns.

Quick Decision-Making Skills

The market changes nearly every day, requiring advisors to make quick decisions to protect client assets. Therefore, individuals often look for advisors that are able to make informed, quick decisions to secure their finances during economic turbulence.

Ability to Work with Different Asset Sizes

Some individuals are just looking to save up enough funds to retire comfortably, while others are looking to fulfill their luxurious retirement dreams. Whatever the case may be, advisors should be comfortable in handling their client’s finances, large or small. Depending on the size of the account and their risk tolerance, advisors need to be able to execute different financial strategies.

Proven Track Record

Having experience and a proven track record gives financial advisors an edge to acquiring new clients, as people are more likely to trust an advisor that is well-known in the industry than one that is just beginning. This is where creating a strong brand is crucial. In order to establish authority in their market, advisors should showcase their certifications, accolades, and other accomplishments to establish trust with prospective clients.

Extensive Support Teams

Advisors often have many clients that they are juggling at one time, making support teams critical. However, many advisors don’t have the resources or space to hold in-house support teams. This is why contracting a field marketing organization (FMO) is so helpful.

Here at Asset, we offer financial advisors all of our support teams to ensure they have everything they need to fulfill their clients’ needs.

Our Annuity & Life sales team takes a consultative approach spending the time needed to build out extensive plans for your clients. They are the human encyclopedias of the insurance business, ready to help you every step of the sales process.

Our Advisor Relations team is your first point-of-contact that can help answer all of your questions to determine if we are a fit.

Our Licensing & Commissions experts navigate the appointment and commission process with insurance companies to ensure a smooth transition when onboarding and are here to assist you with all of your contracting, appointment, and commission needs.

Our New Business team guides you through the daily interactions with insurance companies to ensure a smooth experience and faster turn arounds. Our team is available for impaired risk assessments, assistance with forms and applications, application scrubbing and proactive case management.

As a business, it’s important to tell your story. Your public identity helps build trust and credibility with your clients, and with the right resources, your communications strategy can take your business to new production peaks. Marketing mentors, creative consultants, content creators—we are the full-service, back-end lead generation and advertising team for our financial advisors.

Learn more about our support teams.

Are We A Good Fit?

Before we can begin helping your business production reach new heights, we want to make sure that we are the right FMO for you and your needs as a financial advisor. Contact us today, and let's talk.