A New Era of Nitrogen: Products, Pricing, and More

Nitrogen is committed to providing purpose-built wealth management technology and equipping financial advisors across the country with the latest innovations and resources to serve their clients and grow their firm. 

That’s why we’re thrilled to share a significant transformation in how we deliver our services to you. Whether you’re a solo practitioner or part of a growing RIA, our platform offers flexible options to suit your needs.

Introducing Plans for Advisors and Solutions for Teams

Nitrogen’s expanded client engagement platform can be assessed in one of two ways: by individual advisors purchasing a Plan for Advisors or by home offices and enterprise who choose a Team Solution:  

  • Plans for Advisors: Individual advisors can access our products à la carte with annual subscription plans. The Riskalyze plan, the industry-standard risk tolerance and proposal generation tool, is now available for just $99/month.
  • Solutions for Team: For growing RIAs, we offer accounts-based pricing with unlimited users, powered by our Command Center for firmwide data management and oversight, and our Risk Center for risk tolerance proposal generation and client engagement tools. Solutions for Teams have the option to add on addition Team Centers. 

Powerful Centers with Tools to Transform Your Practice

Let’s dive into how each of our new products can elevate your advisory services:

    • Risk Center: Leverage the #1 risk tolerance, proposal generation, and client engagement solution in the industry. Use our proprietary Risk Number® to attract, win, and retain clients as fearless investors.
    • Research Center: Upgrade your investment analysis capabilities with advanced fund screening, model management, and detailed portfolio and security statistics. Impress even your most sophisticated clients with rich, data-driven reports
    • Planning Center: Create client-facing plans with unprecedented speed. From goals-based accumulation projections to retirement income modeling, help your clients visualize and understand the long-term value of your advice.
    • Command Center: For RIAs and enterprises choosing our Team Solutions, Command Center puts you in control of your technology. Monitor AUM growth, manage risk parameters and brand application, and create custom strategies for deployment across your advisor team
    • Marketing Center: Available for solo advisors, Marketing Center provides advisors with a database of high-quality, customizable marketing materials. Upload your firm’s branding and disclaimers and watch your firm’s unique branding seamlessly integrate across dozens of assets, with no need for specialized graphic design or copywriting skills. 

With these five centers, your firm can deliver more personalized advice to your clients and address some of the most pressing questions in wealth management today:

  • How can financial advisors effectively attract and win new clients?
  • What are the best practices for documenting fiduciary care to ensure compliance and build trust with clients?
  • In what ways can advisors leverage investor psychology to improve client relationships and investment outcomes?
  • What strategies can firms employ to consistently and efficiently distribute their investment strategies and models across their advisor teams? 

Join the Fearless Investing Movement

At Nitrogen, we’re committed to empowering advisors like you to deliver exceptional value to your clients. Our platform is designed to create a common language between advisors and clients, allowing you to focus on building your business rather than getting bogged down in management tasks.

Are you ready to join the tens of thousands of advisors and revolutionize your practice?

Schedule a Demo

How Nitrogen Streamlines Your Financial Planning Process in 4 Simple Steps

Your financial planning process is the very core of what you do, as it serves as the foundation of your advisor-client relationship. While every advisor has their own process, when was the last time you took a step back and reviewed it with a fine-toothed comb? Ask yourself: Am I operating as efficiently as possible? What am I doing to consistently deliver exceptional value to my clients?

Whether you’re serving a few clients or several hundred, identifying opportunities to streamline is never a bad idea – especially if it means more time back in your day. Here are four steps you can take to ensure your planning process supports your growth goals and client concerns. 

How to Streamline Financial Planning Process in 4 Simple Steps

Step #1: Build a Consistent Client Experience

One of the most critical components of scaling your firm effectively is to deliver a consistent client experience across the lifecycle of the advisor-client relationship. Better yet, you need to be able to repeat that consistent client experience with every single client (no matter how large your book of business becomes). 

Being consistent is so important because it helps build trust with your clients, which also creates long-lasting loyalty. Additionally, consistency can help solidify your reputation and improve your brand recognition.

Every Second Counts

While we say “client experience,” the reality is that investors won’t wait until they become clients to start forming an opinion. In fact, Forbes reports that you have just seven seconds before your prospect starts forming an opinion about you and your business!

Prospects begin making up their minds about you from the very first interaction – a post on LinkedIn, an email newsletter, your website, a handshake at a networking event, etc. In a sense, the planning process really starts from the moment you introduce yourself to when you meet with a prospect for the first time, and it continues all the way until the relationship has concluded. 

Step #2: Drive Up Conversion Rates with Personalized Proposals

The long-term success of your client relationship stems from your ability to “wow” prospects. Offering personalized proposals, for example, demonstrates your value and showcases your attention to detail. When you leverage a tech tool like Nitrogen’s proposal solution to do the heavy lifting, it gets even easier to drive growth without taking time away from current client tasks.

Nitrogen’s proposal solution replaces the old-school 40-page report (that few people will ever read) with an intuitive, tailored presentation that pinpoints the most pertinent information to each prospect.

Related: Click here to read the case study, “Equity Concepts has a 90% Close Rate Using Nitrogen”

Step #3: Make Retirement Planning Simple and Effective

In order to maintain a consistent client experience, you’ll want to find opportunities to connect the work you did during the proposal process with your ongoing engagement. 

Nitrogen’s Retirement Maps, for example, pulls critical data points from the client profile already created during the prospecting process to instantly show their probability of success, time horizon, and risk capacity in retirement. The best part? The Maps act as a living document – growing and changing alongside your clients’ journeys. 

Leveraging information like a client’s monthly savings, investment amount, retirement year, monthly withdrawal rate, and more can ensure the retirement planning process is both personalized and scalable, all while presenting clients with the most important information in an easy-to-understand format.

Related: How To Use Analytics to Win Clients

Step #4: Illustrate Success Quickly and Retain Clients

Retirement Maps offers impactful, real-time illustrations of retirement scenarios, which can help you and your clients stress test different decisions and their potential outcomes.

Having the ability to make decisions proactively and understand what’s coming down the line is a huge value add for those in or near retirement – as no one wants to feel unsure about their ability to live comfortably and enjoy financial independence to the fullest. That concern is relevant to many Americans, however. An AARP study found that the majority of individuals over the age of 50 worry they’ll outlive their retirement savings. 

As an advisor, empowering your clients to feel confident and excited about retirement is key to long-term satisfaction, retention, and growth. Keeping your clients informed and confident about their financial plan is especially important during periods of market volatility which, when unaccounted for, have the potential to diminish a portfolio’s long-term potential. 

With a tailored, proactive retirement plan in place, your clients can feel comfortable knowing they’re prepared to weather any storm. 

Related: 6 Ways Financial Advisors Can Calm Clients During Market Volatility

Throughout the entire lifecycle of your advisor-client relationship, you’ll have opportunities to add value, bolster client confidence, and establish a strong foundation of trust. In doing so, you can more effectively secure long-lasting relationships, increase referrals, and ultimately leverage your brand and reputation to grow your firm. 

However, the key to a truly streamlined planning process is to deliver a consistent client experience that makes every client feel seen and well cared for.

Simplify Your Financial Planning Process

Nitrogen’s planning tools can be used to help you deliver valuable, tailored information to clients and prospects in a visually appealing and impactful way. To learn more about how Nitrogen was built to streamline your financial planning process, book a demo today.

Using Reports to Grow Your Firm and Exceed Client Satisfaction

Written by Shari Hensrud, VP Risk & Analytics at Nitrogen

One of the key components to growing your firm and maintaining client satisfaction is being able to build lasting trust and communicating with your clients in a way they understand. But how do you do this when financial conversations can quickly become complex? The key is building reports that are easy to deliver, easy to explain, and easy to understand. Delivering thoughtful, compelling reports helps demonstrate your value to your clients and helps enhance decision-making.

Here are some key elements to think about when you’re building out your reports:

Make It Client-Focused

Tailor reports to align with each client’s specific goals, risk tolerance, and investment timelines.  Personalized reports demonstrate your commitment to addressing individual needs, reinforcing your services’ value. Use reports to track progress towards goals and provide regular updates on goal achievement. These components build confidence and trust, demonstrating your commitment to your clients’ long-term success.

Include Portfolio and Market Insights

Insights identify strengths, reveal weaknesses, and spotlight opportunities. The right combination of portfolio analytics presented in easy-to-understand charts or graphs will result in satisfied clients.  

It is common practice to glean insights from historical performance. Including performance reports is not for every client and can be a distraction from the more important focus of goals.  Conversations around performance are often the most complex and can require a lot of education and explanation. If you find yourself looking at the analytics and starting to craft an explanation in your head, add the analytics necessary to fill in the gaps. Incorporate the necessary analytics to support the reasons for the performance. For example, consider an example where 70% of the portfolio is well-diversified, but the remaining 30% is a concentrated position. Place the concentrated position on a separate line when quoting performance or add it as an additional benchmark. Be thoughtful when selecting benchmarks to ensure accurate representation. By including the correct elements, it reassures clients about the stability and safety of their investments and the quality of your investment strategy. 

Risk management analytics demonstrate the strength of the portfolio and how well it is positioned for goal success. Risk management analytics such as stress tests or scenario analysis help keep the focus on the client goals.

Have Educational Content Throughout Your Report

Include educational content within your reports to explain key concepts and metrics. Be sure to tailor the content to the interests of your target audience.  Educational content is best understood through short concise statements, supported by easy-to-follow analytics, charts, and graphs.  Adding educational content empowers clients to make informed decisions and fosters a deeper understanding of their investments. Educated clients are more likely to appreciate and trust your expertise.

Offer detailed and transparent reports on a regular basis. Consistent communication builds trust and keeps clients informed, which leads to client engagement and satisfaction.

By leveraging solution-focused portfolio analytics in your reporting, you can demonstrate your expertise, build client trust, and highlight the value of your services. Customized, transparent reports that emphasize performance, manage risk, and track goals can significantly enhance client satisfaction and drive firm growth. Embrace advanced technology and continuous education to stay ahead in the competitive landscape and consistently exceed client expectations.

Industry News: June 2024

The June 2024 Fintech News roundup features a recent FDIC warning, AI advancements, new fintech collaborations, and more – giving you a quick overview of what’s shaking the financial services industry and why it matters to you and your clients.

 

BlackRock and Citadel Securities Announce the Texas Stock Exchange

What happened: BlackRock and Citadel Securities are spearheading the launch of the Texas Stock Exchange (TXSE) in Dallas, securing around $120 million in funding to compete with the NYSE and Nasdaq.

Why it matters: Set to begin operations as early as 2026, TXSE aims to offer more cost-effective and business-friendly listing and trading options, providing a viable alternative to the stringent compliance regulations of established exchanges. This new player could attract companies and innovators seeking reduced compliance burdens and pave the way for significant industry advancements, undoubtedly shaking up the investment landscape.


Consumers are Warned to Take Caution with Neobanks and Fintech Providers Lacking FDIC Insurance

What happened: In early June 2024, the FDIC issued a new warning for consumers: Be wary of banking with neobanks and fintech companies that fall outside FDIC protections when selecting your bank, especially in light of Synapse Financial Technologies’ bankruptcy.

Why it matters: It’s estimated that over one million Americans were left unable to access their funds after Synapse shuttered its doors. Many of those individuals may not have even been fully aware that their “banks” were actually third-party apps that simply connected banking institutions for consumers. The warning underscores a need for more transparency between fintech companies, banks, and the people they serve, and likely signals increased regulatory focus heading to that section of the financial services industry.


JP Morgan Jumps Aboard the AI Train with IndexGPT

What happened: JPMorgan Chase has launched IndexGPT, an AI tool that uses OpenAI’s GPT-4 model to create thematic investment baskets.

Why it matters: By automating the creation of thematic indexes through keyword association, IndexGPT will facilitate a more efficient approach to identifying and investing in trends like cloud computing or cybersecurity, potentially enhancing portfolio performance and pushing for more innovation within the industry?. Some experts, however, say that only time will tell if IndexGPT has a long-term place among the lineup of AI-fueled systems currently flooding the finance sector. 

Related: What Software Will Financial Advisors Use in 2024?


Fiserv and Plaid Partner to Enhance Secure Data Sharing in Finance

What happened: Fiserv and Plaid announced a partnership in late 2023 aimed at improving the security and efficiency of data sharing for consumers through API connectivity.

Why it matters: Through this new collaboration, over 3,000 financial institutions hosted by Fiserv and 8,000 applications and services connected via Plaid can offer more robust and secure services to their clients who wish to share financial information with third parties. The sheer scale of the partnership highlights just how crucial API-driven connectivity is in the modern financial services world – opening the door for faster, more reliable, and more secure data sharing. 


The SEC Charges Broker-Dealers and Investment Advisors Over Recordkeeping Failures (Again)

What happened: In February 2024, the SEC brought over $81 million in new charges against broker-dealers and investment advisors for failing to properly maintain records of off-channel communications, such as those conducted via WhatsApp and other text messaging platforms.

Why it matters: This crackdown is another in a string of charges against off-channel communications betweens advisors and their clients in recent years. As technology evolves and new communication methods become available, it’s critical that your firm practices due diligence and devotes the resources necessary to comply with recordkeeping rules. If not, the message from the SEC is clear: Regulators are keeping their focus on off-channel comms, and those that flout the rules will continue to incur penalties.

Related: Nitrogen Helps Independent RIA & Broker-Dealer with $3B+ AUM Set the Bar for Fiduciary Care


CFP Board Reaches Milestone with Over 100,000 Certified Members

What happened: The Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Board has announced that it now has over 100,000 certified members, marking a significant milestone in its mission to promote high standards of professional conduct in financial planning.

Why it matters: No matter what new threat seems to emerge to challenge advisors — from robo-advice to AI — the industry continues to make gains. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics still predicts faster-than-average growth for financial advisory employment – and this milestone reflects that growth. It also underscores the recognition and importance of the CFP certification, which enhances credibility, ensures adherence to rigorous ethical and professional standards, and gives professionals access to a large network of other certified planners for peer learning. 


TradeZero Fined $250K for “Finfluencer” Activities

What happened: Brooklyn-based brokerage firm TradeZero has been fined $250,000 by regulatory authorities for compliance failures related to its promotion of financial products through social media influencers, commonly known as “finfluencers.”

Why it matters: The TradeZero fine serves as an important reminder: Influencers and other forms of social media outreach can be an effective way to reach your target audiences – but those partnerships can also put your firm at regulatory risk. Before hiring a “finfluencer” to promote your next campaign, it’s critical that you set clear expectations and guidelines, while also monitoring all content in regards to compliance (paying particular attention to any necessary disclosures and keeping language fair and balanced). 

Related: Click here to watch the on-demand webinar, “How Financial Advisors Can Use Social Media to Drive Firm Growth”

4 Simple Tips for Boosting Your Advisor Marketing Efforts

Is there a “secret sauce” to building a successful wealth management firm? What makes some capable of doubling – even tripling – their AUM while others struggle to retain clients? 

While there’s no one specific reason why some find more success than others, there are a few common (and perhaps surprising) retention and client acquisition strategies for financial advisors that these successful firms employ (and you can, too).

Related: Advisor Wins 8-Figure Client and Projects 40% Growth in One Year with Nitrogen

If you’re interested in attracting more of your ideal clients and growing your AUM, here are four tips we recommend:

 

4 Marketing Strategies for Financial Advisors That Really Work

1. Revisit your approach – and change course when needed

If you find that you’re struggling to bring new (and qualified) clients through the doors, it may be time to revisit your existing marketing strategies. Or, if you have solely depended on referrals to get your name out, this is a good time to work on building a digital footprint. 

That’s because more than three-fourths of consumers “look for a company’s online presence before visiting in-person.” In today’s tech-driven world, your presence online will be a requirement of your future clients (especially once you begin working with the next generation of investors).

Your digital presence can include:

  • Your website: Make sure it’s visually appealing, easy to navigate, and provides all the necessary information about your firm (without overwhelming readers).
  • Social media: If your firm and advisors haven’t already, they may want to create profiles on social platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. Here, they can share updates, provide educational information, connect with current or prospective clients, and encourage action (like booking an appointment).
  • Online publications: To build your reputation as a knowledgeable and trusted thought leader, consider submitting articles or quotes to online publications. Make sure the article links back to your social profiles and/or website.

As you work to build out or revamp your presence online, keep in mind who your target market is. Think about what sort of clients you’d like to attract to your firm and consider their pain points. Make sure to tailor your content and messaging to speak directly to that audience.

Related: Understanding Lead Generation for Advisory Firms

2. Prioritize client retention (even above client acquisition)

When your clients are happy, they’re much more likely to encourage others to come see you as well. In fact, satisfied clients are typically the number one source for obtaining new, high-quality clients

Why? Because people tend to gravitate toward others with similar interests, jobs, or socioeconomic levels. If your current client represents your target audience, there’s a good chance the people they refer to your firm will be well-qualified prospects from similar backgrounds.

The catch: Those referrals will only happen if your current clients are delighted with your service. 

Client engagement (and subsequent client retention) is critical to both your long-term client relationships as well as your firm’s growth goals.

 And it doesn’t have to be time-consuming or expensive to keep a pulse on your clients – platforms like Nitrogen can help you better nurture those relationships by initiating automatic check-ins, stress testing certain scenarios, identifying warning signs, and otherwise tracking client sentiment on your behalf.

3. With the above in mind, communicate more than you think you need to

Few things are more personal to your clients than their wealth and financial well-being, meaning it’s important to them that you’re always communicative and transparent. A recent study found that 85% of clients consider your communication style when deciding to stay with your firm or look elsewhere for financial advice. 

Give your clients clear expectations of how to contact you, your operating hours, and how long it will take you to return a message.

In addition, it’s important to find opportunities to be proactive with your client communications, particularly around life milestones. Share market updates, send birthday cards, check in during a hard time (such as a death or divorce), and just let them know you’re thinking of them on a personal level.

When you take your communication up a notch, it can make a big impression on your clients. Incorporating automation and AI-driven tools into your tech stack helps you continue to deliver that personalized communication – even as you scale.

4. Think of progress in terms of what you can measure

The one step too many advisory firms forget during this process is to pause, reflect on their progress, and measure their success

Unless you track the changes made, how long they’ve been in place, and the results, you won’t know which of the above strategies is yielding the best ROI.

Check in regularly (say quarterly or annually) on your efforts to attract and retain high-quality clients to determine what’s working best and what needs to be tweaked or changed. 

Related: How to Measure Client Retention in Your Wealth Management Firm

If you find that your social media presence is growing significantly in terms of followers or engagement metrics, for example, there may be an opportunity to double down your efforts in that arena. Or, if you notice you have a lower number of referrals from clients in this quarter, it may be time to reflect on the client experience you’re delivering and identify opportunities for improvement.

Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback from your clients, peers, and professional network. They can help you better understand how your efforts may be perceived by others, or provide actionable insights you can incorporate into your firm moving forward. 

Related: Click here to watch the on-demand webinar, “Measure and Manage the Growth of Your Firm with Nitrogen Ignite”

Leverage the Latest Technology with Nitrogen

Finding success as a financial advisor depends largely on your ability to deliver an impeccable and scalable client experience. Nitrogen’s holistic approach to elevating how you work is meant to bridge the gap between advisors and their clients – while enabling you to focus on building your book of business.Take a tour of the Nitrogen platform and see for yourself how we can help you unlock your firm’s full potential. Book your demo today.

Improve Your Client Experience With These Thoughtful Engagement Strategies

With so many financial resources available at investors’ fingertips today, clients are looking for their advisors to provide more than investment advice. In fact, 60% of clients believe more frequent and personalized communication with their advisor would give them more confidence in their financial plan.

Clients need to feel heard, cared for, and included in the conversation, and that requires a lot of positive and personalized communication.

But what often gets overlooked here is the fact that positive client engagement isn’t just good for clients, it’s essential for advisor well-being and success too. Without productive conversations, advisors may not have the information needed to serve their clients to the best of their abilities.

Transforming your firm’s client engagement responsibilities from what feels like a burden into a mutual benefit requires a shift in strategy – but it doesn’t have to be difficult. Read on to explore challenges to positive client engagement, strategies to overcome them, and tools to help you along the way.

 

Challenges to Positive and Sustainable Client Engagement

With an understanding of why client engagement is important for both you and your clients, let’s consider what potential challenges are standing in the way from the perspective of both parties.

As an advisor, you are probably busy. You tend to work long hours in the office, juggling many tasks, while trying to please multiple clients. As you stretch too thin, you may become easily stressed, burnt out, and feel too busy to take on another recurring responsibility. The result: Non-essentials like client engagement and proactive check-ins tend to fall on the back burner, and you focus on more immediate and tangible tasks. 

You may also find it difficult to identify clients’ specific concerns before they escalate into an urgent phone call or email, especially if they haven’t prioritized proactive communication in the past. In turn, clients may not feel particularly inclined to share information or reach out beyond their annual or quarterly meetings. 

Related: 5 Client Personas Every Financial Advisor Eventually Encounters

If the lack of positive communication continues over time, it can crack the foundation of trust in your relationship. As a result, the partnership may even end prematurely or otherwise detract from your clients’ overall experience working with your firm.

 

3 Ways to Make Client Engagement a Positive Experience for Everyone


1. Communicate on Your Schedule

One thing’s clear: Your clients want to hear from you more. 

Anytime you’re able to let your clients know you’re thinking about them and their financial or personal well-being, you’re building up your credibility and exceeding their expectations. Those small moments compound over time to create a concrete foundation of trust, and they’re what help build a long-term successful relationship.

Of course, dropping everything and turning your attention to a client when they feel stressed can be difficult. Rather than wait for clients to approach you, try taking a few proactive measures to ensure you’re communicating on your schedule. 

Provide regular check-ins to anticipate issues and answer your clients’ questions before they’re even asked. This will satisfy your clients’ craving for regular communication without sacrificing your productivity.

 

2. Focus on Quality

When it comes to communication, quality is just as important as quantity. 

Yes, you should be communicating often, but those communications should be personalized and value-driven (as opposed to sounding impersonal or irrelevant). As technology has advanced in recent years, clients are now accustomed to receiving personalized communications, meaning the days of generic mass emails are gone. 

Consider tailoring your message to address each client’s specific needs, goals, and risk tolerance. Creating those real moments of connection with your clients will likely feel more meaningful and purposeful for you, too! 

Related: Steal These 5 Client Engagement Examples

If you could use some help creating and sharing hyper-personalized communications, the Nitrogen platform empowers you to send targeted emails and messages based on how your client lists are segmented. That way, you can leverage client data to personalize content and ensure your communication resonates with each individual.

 

3. Automate Your Processes

The great thing about using a platform like Nitrogen to boost your client engagement efforts is that you can automate certain aspects of your operations. In fact, technology can be an incredibly effective tool for prioritizing client engagement. 

While you’re focused on serving your clients, automated processes and workflows can operate in the background of your firm to handle things like:

  • Portfolio spot-checks
  • Risk tolerance assessments
  • Simple client communications or alerts
  • And more

Related: Why and How to Automate Client Engagement

How Nitrogen’s Client Engagement Tools Make a More Enjoyable Advisor Experience

If you’re committing to regular check-ins with your clients (as you should!), Nitrogen’s Check-ins feature serves as a built-in early warning system to help you closely monitor your client’s thoughts and concerns about the markets, their financial goals, or anything else on their mind. With client communication tools and engagement features, Nitrogen helps you build stronger client relationships and create a positive and engaging experience for everyone involved. See for yourself how Nitrogen powers positive client engagement by scheduling a demo today.

How To Use Analytics to Win Clients

Written by Shari Hensrud, VP Risk & Analytics at Nitrogen

In the competitive landscape of investment and wealth management, effectively using portfolio analytics significantly enhances your ability to win clients. Analytics are a powerful tool, allowing you to showcase your expertise, build trust, and demonstrate the value of your services.  

Portfolio analytics offer many options, each component telling a part of the portfolio’s story. Ranging from basic measures like performance, to more complex ones like Value-at-Risk. However, analytics alone is not a one size fits all approach to win clients. Not everyone has an appetite for the complex.

The first and most important step to using analytics to win clients is understanding your clients, their needs, and their goals. Start asking questions like: 

  • Does my client prefer detailed data or executive summaries? 
  • Does my client want to examine the details of the portfolio holdings or prefer to focus solely on the total portfolio value? 
  • Do they want to spend time discussing the minutiae or receive simple reassurance that everything is going according to plan? 

The key is communicating with your clients in a manner that resonates best with them.

Portfolio analytics should be seen as a series of chapters in a story. Each chapter builds upon the previous one, and the story can end at any point; it does not need to be told in its entirety for every client.  

All stories should begin with demonstrating your understanding of the client and their goals. This chapter of the story draws from analytics around risk tolerance, goals, and personal preferences. The Nitrogen Risk Number, worst case from the 95% range, and retirement maps are examples of a clear and concise set of analytics that do this exactly. These metrics show the client that you are tailoring the portfolio to their specific preferences with their specific goals in mind.  

For some clients, the story ends here. For others, you may need to go further. Other chapters of the portfolio story that can be added include;

Risk Management Analytics

Risk analytics such as standard deviation, Value-at-Risk (95% range), or stress tests and scenario analyses, allow you to showcase how you manage and mitigate risk. Utilizing these analytics proactively reassures clients about your preparedness to handle risks. 

Historical Performance:

Historical performance is often where advisors start their story, but performance should come later in the story.  Performance can be a double-edged sword and work against you when times are rough or as styles move in and out of favor.  When adding performance to the story the focus should be on consistency and progress toward goals.  Utilizing charts or graphs makes the performance data easily understood and allows for an easier grasp of complex information.

Related: learn more about Nitrogen’s Scenarios tool.

Benchmarking

Performance is often shown against relevant benchmarks.  Ensuring the benchmark is relevant and adding this component keeps clients informed about how their investments measure up, building confidence in your management.  Benchmarking can also create a need to add additional analytics to explain performance differences. 

Advanced Portfolio Analysis

Portfolio analysis can include more straight-forward analytics such as sector distributions, asset class distributions, country or region, yields, financial statistics, or complex analytics such as Sharpe Ratio, Alpha, Beta, Downside Risk, or R-squared.  For some clients, elements of these are important and including them as a chapter of your story enhances those clients’ engagement and satisfaction.

Diversification

Analytics around asset allocation or correlation demonstrate the benefits of the portfolio strategy and how you are working to reduce risk and enhance returns.  These analytics further help clients understand the robustness of the investments and the level of expertise you offer with regard to their investments. 

Market analysis and insights 

Market analytics can identify potential investment opportunities and threats or simply provide the backdrop to a performance attribution discussion. Either way, for those clients with interest in a deeper understanding of the “why” in performance this level of detail can impress clients and underscore your expertise.

Regardless of how many chapters your story contains, keep it informative and educational. By effectively leveraging portfolio analytics, you can provide clear evidence of your expertise, build trust with clients, and demonstrate the value of your services. Starting with a deep understanding of your clients, you can tailor your approach to meet their specific needs and preferences. The strategic use of analytics not only helps in acquiring new clients, but also in retaining existing ones. Focus on transparency, customization, and analytics to set yourself apart in the competitive investment landscape and win clients with confidence. We all have a story to tell but without the power of analytics it can quickly turn into overwhelming words on a page. Learn more about the Nitrogen Platform and how we create the common language between investors and advisors.

Matching Clients with the Right Investments

As a financial advisors, you’re given an immense amount of trust and value in your ability to identify your client’s long-term goals, find their tolerance for risk, and build a diversified, forward-focused portfolio that’s customized to their needs.

Simply put, matching your clients with the right investments for their portfolios is as sure a way as you can find to create fearless investors within your firm. 

But more than that, aligning the appropriate securities with the right clients can help move them closer to their investment goals. In turn, your clients become more loyal and appreciative, stick with you for the long run, and refer other like-minded investors over to your firm (another bonus: Research shows that those client referrals tend to be the most promising prospects!).

And perhaps most importantly, it’s your fiduciary duty to recommend the right kinds of investments to the clients in your care. Let’s explore how a focus on client risk tolerance and quality, risk-centric proposals can help your firm find growth opportunities.

 

First, Focus on Risk Tolerance

When tasked to find investment opportunities for your client, one of the first factors to consider is the level of risk your client is willing and able to take on (aka, risk tolerance). Their risk tolerance can be used to essentially set the right expectations and provide guidelines you can then use to determine if a certain security may or may not be in the client’s best interest.

For example, those nearing retirement often have a lower tolerance for risk than their younger counterparts. Why? Because their portfolio will have less time to recover in the event of a market downturn before they begin withdrawing from it. 

Related: Client Engagement Tools Every RIA Needs

Why Risk Tolerance Matters

Knowing a client’s risk tolerance not only helps you select appropriate securities, but it also enables you to assess their current asset allocation. You can better determine whether they’re invested in a way that may not suit their needs, goals, and/or tolerance for market fluctuations and make swift adjustments accordingly.

It can also help the client you’re working with to understand how different strategies could affect their finances in the long-term. With risk tolerance in the conversation, your clients are able to take abstract numbers and financial jargon and relate it to their vision of success.

 

What Is a Risk Number®?

A Risk Number essentially quantifies an investor and his or her portfolio risk, as opposed to leaving the determination up to each individual advisor’s qualitative analysis. 

A Risk Number ranges from 1 to 99, and it’s calculated based on downside risk – the greater the potential loss, the higher the number. In addition, the Risk Number gives advisors and investors a common language to use when setting expectations, recognizing risk, and making portfolio selections.

Click here to read the case study, “Family Legacy Financial Doubles Their Business in One Year with the Risk Number®

When advisors are able to explain the importance and relevance of a Risk Number, clients have a better understanding of the relationship between risk and reward – not to mention, they can feel confident that their advisor is acting in their best interests.

 

Connecting Risk Tolerance to Proposals

Another big benefit of operating with an investor-centric and risk-aligned process? Your fiduciary duty can really shine.

Nitrogen’s Proposals solution enables advisors to build multiple portfolio proposals for a client, move them through the process from draft to selection, and archive every recommendation to satisfy compliance standards. 

Better yet, those proposals are able to center around your client’s individual Risk Number, meaning you can more accurately propose the right portfolio with the appropriate amount of risk. The result? Your client feels more empowered to buy into their plan and invest fearlessly. 

Related: Monitor Proposals and Drive Growth with Command Center

By using risk as the guide, you can clearly show clients through the risk-driven proposal process how their previous portfolio was misaligned and what they need to change in order to be invested correctly in regards to their personal risk tolerance moving forward.

Too often, complex industry jargon drives so many clients and prospects away from working with real, trusted financial professionals who act in their best interest. But because Nitrogen’s proposals and Risk Numbers are created using real-world, simple language, you and your client can discuss investment options and next steps with ease. 

Related: Helping Clients Fall in Love with their Risk Assessments

Leverage Risk to Find the Right Investments

Your clients depend on you to guide their portfolios in the right direction – that includes assessing their current asset allocation and making any necessary adjustments. By leveraging innovative industry insights like Nitrogen’s client Risk Numbers and risk-driven proposals, you can better deliver on your fiduciary duty as an advisor.

To learn more about the effectiveness of Nitrogen’s tools and platforms, check out our latest case studies now.

The Key to Client Satisfaction and Retention: Managing Expectations

What’s the one thing you need to nail down in order to grow successfully? 

Hint: It’s your client service. 

Unless you’re able to deliver a standardized, repeatable, and scalable level of service, the client experience may begin to suffer over time, stagnating your growth. 

The key to enjoying a long and successful relationship with clients is to set clear expectations from the very beginning, and then deliver on them.  

And while figuring out how to engage with clients effectively is a problem with no single right answer, with a clear understanding of both your and your clients’ goals, you can craft an experience that not only meets their requirements, but exceeds their expectations.

To help you get started, we’ve rounded up a few of our top tips for setting expectations with your clients in order to scale your firm more effectively.

 

Managing Client Expectations: Where to Begin?

One of the worst mistakes an advisor can make in terms of client relationships is assuming expectations instead of communicating them. Assumptions tend to go unsaid until it’s too late, meaning they can often result in unintentional confusion, frustration, and (in the worst-case scenario) fractured relationships.

Not sure where to start with clarifying and managing expectations? Start with:

 

1. Clear and Transparent Communication

Financial and investment jargon can be complex, but when it comes to your relationship with clients? Stick to simple terms and easy conversations. 

Make your expectations crystal clear, and be certain you’re both on the same page – and that includes what they can expect from you as well as what you expect from them. Give them the opportunity to ask questions and share their own concerns or expectations.

When possible, put your expectations in writing and make them easily available for both parties to refer back to at any time (share via email or a document storage site, for example). You may even make it mandatory for clients to sign the expectations sheet, to ensure they take it seriously and protect yourself from future misunderstandings or allegations.

Related: Develop an Effective Client Communication Strategy

2. Active Listening

Do you consider yourself a good listener? Unfortunately, most people aren’t as good at listening as they think they are. In fact, only about half of us retain information right after listening to someone speak. After 48 hours? That figure drops to just 25% of listeners.

Engaging in active listening is a skill that requires practice and concentration, but it’s an especially important area for advisors to work on. Some of the most meaningful conversations you’ll have with clients may have nothing to do with their portfolio or finances, but if you’re not listening closely enough, you may miss them.

 

3. Responsiveness

When a client reaches out to you or your office, do they know when you’ll get back to them? 

People are protective about their money, meaning they can feel especially stressed if they have questions – and they often want answers immediately. So if you take three, four, five or more days to reply, that can be a frustrating and anxiety-inducing experience.

But if you set the expectation from the start of when and how (phone call, email, text, etc.) you’ll respond to questions, you can better ease their concerns.

 

Client Expectations vs. Their Budget

A large part of your job as a financial advisor is to help your clients understand their fiances and develop realistic expectations of what they’re able to accomplish with what they have. In these instances, it’s a good idea to lean on educational strategies to guide them. 

One especially helpful tool you can use to accomplish this is Nitrogen’s Portfolio Analysis tools, which can model different scenarios and show clients what sort of outcomes they can anticipate based on various decisions made today about their wealth.

Portfolio Analysis can also:

  • Screen for appropriate securities
  • Run stress tests
  • Craft client-centric and customizable reports
  • Provide detailed portfolio statistics

By establishing clear expectations about future performance and the ability to achieve long-term goals can help keep you and your client in alignment moving forward.

 

Going Beyond the Basics: How to Exceed Client Expectations

With all this talk of how to manage client expectations, now the question is… What can you do to actually exceed your clients’ expectations?

First and foremost, it never hurts to be proactive within your advisor-client relationship. From sending out a spontaneous check-in to providing an unprompted security analysis or keeping their Risk Number in check – there are plenty of steps you can take to let your clients know you’re thinking of them all year round. The more you’re able to do without a client asking, the higher your perceived value will likely be.

In the same vein, find opportunities to personalize your service where possible. You may find it easier to accomplish this by incorporating automation into your firm’s operations and developing pre-made client correspondences that can be easily and quickly customized to address each client individually.

And finally, don’t be afraid to ask others for feedback or advice. Be open to continual evolution and improvement. Talk to your colleagues, attend conferences like the Fearless Investing Summit to connect with your peers, and continue accelerating your offers to improve and perfect them.

 

Learn More About Nitrogen

Leverage Nitrogen’s sophisticated Portfolio Analysis capabilities to impress even your most financially savvy clients with clear, thoughtful, and comprehensive investment analysis. And to learn more about how others have used Nitrogen to manage and exceed client expectations, check out our success stories today.

Midyear Mastery: The Financial Advisor’s Checklist for Strategic Reflection and Proactive Growth

As we navigate through the year, the halfway mark offers a unique moment to pause and reflect on our progress, challenges, and opportunities that lie ahead. The Nitrogen Midyear Strategy Checklist is designed to empower you to conduct a thorough review of your firm, identify areas of success, and uncover potential for growth and improvement. This checklist will guide you through over 40 items focused on client engagement, financial planning, investment management, marketing, operations, compliance, and technology to help you complete your midyear check-in. 

Whether you’re looking to enhance client satisfaction, refine your investment strategies, or optimize your marketing efforts, this checklist is your step-by-step guide to advancing your practice and achieving your goals for the remainder of the year and beyond.

 

Client Engagement and Retention

  • Review Client Satisfaction: Conduct surveys or meetings to gauge client satisfaction levels.
  • Assess Communication Strategies: Evaluate the effectiveness and frequency of your communication channels. Have you enabled Check-ins for your clients? With Nitrogen, it’s free to automate routine communication with clients to assess their view of the markets and their investments. Learn more here.
  • Check on Financial Goals Alignment: Ensure clients’ financial plans still align with their goals and their Risk Number®. 
  • Client Portfolio Reviews: Ensure all clients have had recent portfolio reviews.
  • Referral Program Assessment: Evaluate the effectiveness and engagement of your referral programs. 

Financial Planning and Analysis

  • Financial Plan Updates: Identify any clients who may need updates to their financial plans. 
  • Tax Planning Strategies: Review any midyear tax planning opportunities.
  • Retirement Planning Check: Ensure retirement plans are on track and adjust if necessary.
  • Education Funding Plans: Review and adjust education funding plans as needed.
  • Estate Planning Review: Ensure clients’ estate plans are up to date and reflect any life changes. 

Investment Management

  • Portfolio Performance Analysis: Review the performance of client portfolios against benchmarks.
  • Risk Management Evaluation: Assess the Risk Numbers of clients and their portfolios and adjust if needed.
  • Asset Allocation Review: Check if the asset allocations are still aligned with client goals.
  • Review of Investment Strategies: Evaluate the effectiveness of your investment strategies.
    Learn tips for creating a portfolio management strategy here.
  • Market Trends Analysis: Stay updated on market trends and adjust strategies accordingly. 

Marketing and Business Growth

  • Content Marketing Performance: Review the performance of your content marketing efforts.
  • Digital Marketing Strategies: Evaluate the effectiveness of your digital marketing strategies.
    Learn about Nitrogen’s Advisor Marketing Kit
  • Client Acquisition Review: Analyze the effectiveness of your client acquisition strategies.
  • Networking and Partnerships: Assess the value of your networking efforts and partnerships.
  • Brand Positioning Check: Ensure your brand messaging is clear and targeted appropriately. Now is a good time to learn more about getting ‘Googled Screened’ and positioning your firm at the top of Google’s search results. 

Operations and Efficiency

  • Process Improvement Review: Identify any operational bottlenecks and plan for improvements.
  • Technology Utilization: Assess how you’re leveraging technology to improve efficiency.
    Learn more about Essential Tech Tools for Advisors.
  • Staff Performance Review: Conduct reviews to assess staff performance and development needs.
  • Outsourcing and Delegation: Evaluate tasks that could be outsourced or delegated for better efficiency.
  • Client Onboarding Process: Review and refine the client onboarding experience. 

Compliance 

  • Regulatory Compliance Check: Ensure all practices are up to date with current regulations.
  • Client Data Protection: Review cybersecurity measures and data protection policies.
  • Document and Record Keeping: Assess the completeness and organization of records.
  • Ethics and Conduct Review: Ensure all business practices adhere to ethical standards.
  • Continuity Planning: Review and update your business continuity plan.


Technology and Tools

  • Software and Tools Evaluation: Assess the effectiveness of current technology tools.
  • CRM System Review: Ensure your CRM system is up-to-date and fully utilized.
  • Client Portal Check: Evaluate the functionality and user experience of your client portal.
  • Automated Reporting Tools: Review the efficiency and accuracy of reporting tools.
  • Cybersecurity Measures: Update and strengthen cybersecurity measures. 

Personal Development and Team Building

  • Review Nitrogen Training Opportunities: Identify areas where you and your firm can better utilize Nitrogen. Whether it’s learning more about product upgrades or just getting a quick refresh, www.nitrogenwealth.com/training is your resource for growth. 
  • Team Building Activities: Plan team-building activities to strengthen team cohesion.
  • Feedback and Communication: Enhance feedback mechanisms within the team for better communication.
  • Book Your Trip to the Fearless Investing Summit: Dedicate the time now to the conference kitces.com named the Top Advisor Marketing Conference of 2024. Invest in your professional development and learn more at www.nitrogenwealth.com/fearless
  • Work-Life Balance: Promote work-life balance initiatives to support team well-being.

Download the Midyear Mastery Checklist to help enable strategic reflection and proactive growth.