Sound investment advice may be the backbone of advisors' service offerings, but to thrive in today's marketplace they need a broader skill set, says Ian Russell, president and CEO of the Investment Industry Association of Canada (IIAC), in an industry letter.
Russell says the last five years have seen three main factors shaping the industry landscape:
- An older demographic in need of new products and services to fund retirement goals and transfer assets to the next generation
- A higher level of knowledge and sophistication among clients, which translates into demands for enhanced service
- Shaken trust and confidence triggered by the 2008 financial crisis, prompting pressures for a new approach to doing business
To be seen as effective, advisors now need to be seen as capable of covering a wider range of service areas. "The advisor is now considered an expert across all aspects of financial decision-making, offering a wide suite of financial products and services related to tax, estate planning, insurance and retirement and education saving objectives.
"The advisor becomes the 'go to' professional. And if the advisor doesn't have the technical expertise in a particular area, he or she knows where to find it, and then integrate the information in a financial plan," Russell says.
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