White Paper

The Next Frontier: Conversation, Connection and Confidence

Executive Summary

If only wealth guaranteed happiness in life. As an advisor, you’ve seen plenty of wealthy clients who wouldn’t call themselves contented or satisfied with their lives.

Dramatic setbacks such as the loss of a loved one, a business failure, or a serious medical diagnosis are understandably jarring and dislocating. But quite apart from these traumas, many people today suffer from a general absence of joy and fulfillment in their day-to-day lives. They sense there must be more to life than:

  • Unsatisfying relationships with family and friends
  • Emptiness or loneliness
  • Anger or resentment
  • Lack of fulfillment in work
  • Anxiety from information overload and the digital speed of life today

Arguably, our contemporary American culture doesn’t help matters much. Americans spend a lot of their time doing, not being. We tend to move fast and focus on action at the expense of self-reflection and deliberation. Constant motion coupled with endless digital access to information can leave us feeling depleted, distracted, and at odds with our highest priorities in life.

In fact, if only to keep up with the information that technology makes available, people in all walks of life feel compelled to spend their time on things that are really not important to them. And the people with financial means — which presumably enables more choices— can be just as anxious and distracted, because, paradoxically, more choice doesn’t necessarily bring more happiness. Instead, in today’s highly digitized world, more options can lead to indecision and increased stress. In other words, more choice can actually mean less contentment for today’s affluents.

Technology can be equally challenging for the advisors who serve the affluent. Chances are you know the seductive appeal of countless online systems with apps for just about everything imaginable. Because everything today seems to be digitized, and investment information is readily available, the value of traditional financial advice is increasingly in question.

But there’s a lot more to this business than electronically modeled portfolios and online market data. It’s human engagement, critical thinking, and honest inquiry that allow you to present meaningful feedback, create a relationship, and provide enlightening insights — all of which are simply unavailable online.

So what if you were to step into the forefront of advice today and build a practice that lets you do just that — a practice that gives clients what technology can’t? What if you could broaden the type of advice you provide, increasing your clients’ level of self-awareness, creating conversations about what is truly important to them, and connecting their finances to their authentic desires? What would it mean to your clients to have you help them move toward achieving the dreams that bring them real fulfillment in life?

In this white paper, we continue to examine the changing role of the advisor — and the changing nature of “advice” itself — in today’s new world. (See our previous white paper Digital Disruption: Is the Financial Advisor’s Value Under Siege.) And we suggest how you can validate your worth as an intermediary as never before, even in this rapidly changing, high-tech world, by doing what technology can’t: cultivating client well-being.