A couple weeks ago I surveyed the roughly 300 investors who follow my personal blog at www.JasonWenk.com. What I was looking to know was how investors were feeling about the market, economy, and what information they were most interested in learning about in today’s market.
I wasn’t totally surprised, but some things were pretty eye opening.
Here’s what I learned:
I found that of the 153 clients of my firm that completed the survey 152 were either “satisfied” or “very satisfied”. One client was “dissatisfied”. The reason for the dissatisfied client was (to use exact words) – “This requires a dialog to convey effectively. A simple note box is not effective. However, to start, you have not met expectations instilled by your comments at the dinner introducing your firm.”
Stings at first, but hey, that’s why survey’s of your clients is important. One other client suggested we communicate more regularly – which should really make other advisors take note as I meet with all clients twice per year, write a 4-6 page quarterly commentary, and post videos and text blogs almost every week. If you’re not keeping up then I would imagine your clients/prospects feel the same or worse regarding contact.
I asked in the survey “In your opinion, what do you think is the greatest concern facing investors in the coming one to three years?”
55.8% replied a potential stock market crash
23.3% replied inflation
14% replied low interest rates
4.7% replied bad financial advice (keep in mind about half of those surveyed are currently non-clients)
2.3% replied high investing costs
I asked “Do you think rising USA national debt is a major issue for investors?”
83.7% replied yes
10.2% replied no
6.1% replied not sure
I asked “Do you think social programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid will still be around in 20 years?”
81.6% replied yes, but with reduced benefits
8.2% replied yes
4.1% replied no
6.1% were unsure
I asked “What do you think the value of the US stock market will be in 12 months?” (this was mostly gathered the last week of August and first week of September, 2011)
39.1% thought it would be up between 1% and 10%
23.9% thought it would be down between 1% and 10%
21.7% thought it would be about the same as today
10.9% thought it would be 10% or more than it is today
4.3% thought it would be down 10% or more than it is today
I asked “What do you think is the smartest investment for the next year?”
33.3% said US stocks
25% said Gold
22.2% said Foreign stocks
8.3% said Cash or money markets
5.6% said Bonds
5.6% said Real Estate
For that same question I also allowed investors to type in other and leave comments. Here’s a snippet of what was left:
I asked “Are you worried about the economy or investment markets at this time?”
75.5% said Yes
14.3% said No
10.2% were unsure
My last question is harder to type out that just show the image, so here that one is. I asked “Please Rate the value of educational information on the following topics:”
So what does this tell us as financial advisors?
Well, first of all investors are concerned. There is tremendous opportunity to be the advisor that leads investors in your marketplace. Second, it tells you exactly how you should be marketing right now to attract new clients. Lastly, it tells you precisely what you need to be doing for your existing clients to ensure they stay with you, refer you, and are happy doing both.
If you’d like me to spell out what I’m doing with this information – here’s my action plan:
- Continue to use my blog to deliver information on where we see the market going, whether good or bad; as well as updated on how US debt, inflation, and a potentially lowered value of the dollar impacts investors.
- I’m building some educational webinars for clients and prospects to get more in-depth information on how to manage investment risk, including the risks of a major market crash, inflation, and low interest rates. This may spill over into some live local seminars as well.
- In my quarterly letters to clients I’m going to start a feature article written by an outside expert in areas I’m not an expert. For example, in the areas of ways to reduce income taxes and estate taxes.
- I’m going to continue to use surveys at least once per year to measure satisfaction among existing clients. And I plan to take hear what they have to say about ways we can improve the services of my firm.
I hope you found my sharing this useful. If you’d like to copy my survey there are a bunch of free tools that make it easy. I used SurveyMonkey.com to manage my survey and you can find the link to my actual survey at www.JasonWenk.com. Just don’t try to complete the survey and give bogus results. I’m sharing to help everyone out in better serving their clients and communities. Advisors trolling and giving bogus feedback hurts us all.
That’s it for now. Now get out there and make something positive happen in your practice/community.