Your clients expect you to be ahead of the curve on all things finance to provide them with the best possible advice.
Here we consider the top trends for 2022 in financial decision-making world to keep your finger on the fiscal pulse.
While it’s time-consuming to keep up with every fad that comes and goes, it’s important that as a financial advisor, you are aware of the key trends and direction of growth and change for the industry.
Recent years have seen sea-changes in the industry, from the emergence of entirely new digital currencies such as Bitcoin, to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on personal and commercial finance.
The one certainty in life is change (and taxes), but here’s what we predict will rise to the fore in 2022. Whether you specialise in pensions, insurance, mortgage advice or investments, you’ll find tips below to help you through the coming year.
After two years of a global pandemic, many people have begun to take stock of their financial situation and are carefully consider their options.
Many have had their incomes negatively affected by the closure of large parts of the economy. Those working in the leisure and hospitality industry in particular had their chief source of revenue – people – cut off through lockdowns, with only the government furlough scheme stopping many going out of business.
This has inevitably shifted mindsets from spend, spend, spend to save, save, save. Speaking to clients and potential customers about the importance of effective saving and the options available will be key in 2022.
Life is getting more digital, with more and more people opting to shop online as a result of the pandemic. Indeed, according to the US International Trade Administration, online retail sales grew from 13.6% of all sales from online channels in 2019 to 21.1% by 2023.
This trend looks set to continue beyond 2023, as areas such as food that were, until 2020, resisting the digital switch are now increasingly bought online.
Take advantage of this shift in the way we interact by making your business ‘digital first’ in 2022.
Ensure you have a website that allows potential clients to learn about your service offering and, crucially, contact you. The easy option here is a ‘contact us’ form or page, but many web platforms offer plugins to enable online chat for a real two-way conversation, increasing leads and ultimately, sales.
In autumn 2021, the COP26 conference focused our minds on promises by world leaders of lower carbon emissions and net zero.
Sustainability and green finance will be the watchwords of 2022 and beyond, with end-consumers embracing eco. A 2020 report by Deloitte demonstrated that 48% of consumers “choose brands that have environmentally sustainable practices and values”.
Demonstrating your eco credentials might give you the extra edge over your competitors - and help save the planet of course.
It’s certainly not new, but it’s definitely not going away. Social media offers you the chance to connect directly with your audience.
If used in the right way, you can engage customers and potential clients. Grow your audience using paid Facebook or Twitter advertising, which can cost as little as £10 per day.
Rather than using your social profiles as sales platforms, engage your audience by sharing interesting content and stories that they will genuinely want to engage with.
Interest rate moves, house price changes and government pension policy updates all provide an opportunity for you to show your expertise and help people show just how clearly you understand what is often complicated, hard to digest information.
This year, it’s time to get pro-active with leads. The pandemic brought with it a period of self-evaluation and change for many people. Redundancies (or the threat of) provided the impetus for some to fundamentally reconsider their career ambitions and make a change.
Others were able to concentrate their efforts on turning hobbies into businesses whilst on furlough.
Those in the position to claim their pension may have decided that now is the time to do so earlier than they had previously intended.
Take some time in 2022 to start a conversation with existing clients about their circumstances, to see if there are any up-selling or cross-selling opportunities.
You can also direct them to resources such as our handy Pension Calculator tool to start productive conversations about the future.
With inflation hitting its highest rate in the UK (5.1%) and US (6.8)% for ten years in November 2021, it’s going to be a key component of investment decisions for 2022. Cost-push inflation is occurring for many reasons, including the global pandemic, increases in shipping costs and higher raw material and fuel costs.
Shrewd financial advisers will help their clients take advantage of this inflationary augmentation in 2022.
This can be done in a number of ways: investing in real estate, in government bonds or moving funds into commodities rather than the potentially more volatile stock market.
It costs more to acquire a new client than it does to retain one, so let 2022 be the year your customer service helps you stand out from the crowd.
With many financial advisors having access to similar products and service offerings, add that personal touch to your advice could be the difference between keeping or losing clients.
Social media has undoubtably raised everyone’s expectations of customer service. Where once you sent a letter and would be happy with a reply within weeks, social media has created the expectation that tweets, posts and even emails will be responded to instantly.
Manage client expectations around response times by clearly advertising your ‘working hours’ on your website and social media channels.
When you do deal with a service query, aim to surprise and delight clients, giving them a reason to tell the world about your exceptional service.
The number of deaths globally in the pandemic has reach 5.3 million to date and most people know someone who has either lost someone, or been badly affected by the disease.
This has led to many considering their own mortality and making plans for their estate should the worst happen. Inheritance tax planning will be an important service offering in 2022 and beyond, so be sure to speak to your clients concerning this.
We’re a long way from the heralded ‘paperless office’, but the pandemic and its associated lockdowns have vastly accelerated remote working throughout the world.
Zoom and Teams calls have been plentiful and are an easy, web-based communication solution. 2022 will be the year for realising that these changes are here to stay and not just a short-term solution.
Make time to evaluate the systems you are using and check that they are fit for purpose, cost-effective and efficient. HR, marketing, finance and operations all have a wealth of digital solutions to help all sizes of business.
Never before has what’s considered ‘business as usual’ changed so quickly and consistently. Long-held traditions are important for the culture of a company, but the pace at which governments and markets are changing means that those who don’t constantly adapt will lose out.
Be sure to keep up to date by checking back here for all the latest news and advice in these challenging and uncertain times. Sign up to Unbiased Wisdom for regular news straight to your inbox.