The past year has been challenging for investors, shadowed by economic uncertainty and market volatility. Many are looking for simple reassurance that their portfolios will continue to remain strong. Yet how an advisor delivers that reassurance matters a lot, and support from the advisor’s firm is critical.
Shawn Sinclair, financial advisor with Edward Jones, identifies two factors that give advisors a clear advantage in this environment: market facts explained in simple terms at advisors’ fingertips and having autonomy to offer financial solutions tailored to each client.
“Every time there’s a downturn in the markets, a client’s perspective is that it has never been this bad. Truth is, it usually has. In fact, it may have been worse…and over time, the markets have typically rebounded and the returns improved,” Sinclair says.
Besides demonstrating to clients that, even at market lows, their portfolios are designed to generate sufficient income beyond age 90, Sinclair leans on the detailed market updates his firm provides every Friday. He appreciates that they’re written so clearly that he can forward them directly to clients.
“A lot of the publicly available materials can be really valuable to someone well versed in financial concepts, but they may be hard to understand for someone who doesn’t know all of our jargon,” he says. “At Edward Jones, what we deliver is straightforward and easy for our clients to understand, and ultimately designed to be beneficial to them.”
Data demonstrating where we are now and how markets have invariably recovered from dips in the past is essential when clients face anxiety-provoking headlines—and Sinclair emphasizes that data-driven examples are critical to show clients why they should trust you. Actions speak louder than words, and clients want to be reassured—not talked down to.
Also critical for Sinclair is the ability to customize solutions for clients, selecting suitable options from the firm’s wide product shelf, to help navigate through volatility. Having no proprietary products and therefore the freedom to construct portfolios that are tailored to each client is, in Sinclair’s words, ”very refreshing.”
In fact, that flexibility was the primary reason he decided to join Edward Jones. He knows that as long as he is compliant and ethical, he’s free to concentrate wholeheartedly on helping achieve each client’s financial goals through personalized solutions.
Perhaps the most important firm resource Sinclair draws on to help clients navigate difficult times is his experienced colleagues across the country. He previously worked in competitive environments, where canvassing for opinions was seen as weakness and other advisors were guarded about sharing information and strategies. Edward Jones isn’t anything like that.
“If I email my regional branch network with a question, I’d receive at least 10 emails back within 15 minutes. All that peer-to-peer support is something I really enjoy. It’s very much a culture that [encourages us] to support one another and help build one another up. We want to help everyone succeed,” Sinclair says.
“I’ve been doing this for over 20 years and having a group of people that can still support and educate me is really comforting. Some of the people I met here in the very beginning have become some of my best friends now.”
“At Edward Jones it’s a culture of mutual support. We want to help everyone succeed”