FA Practice Management Is Not Fundsters' Value-Add Panacea
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Thursday, January 21, 2016

FA Practice Management Is Not Fundsters' Value-Add Panacea

Despite what fundsters think, practice management, prospecting, and alternatives are not the most popular value-add programs among financial advisors.

Patrick Newcomb
FUSE Research
Director of Benchmark Research
That's a key finding in Fuse Research Network's just released "Marketing Support: the Advisor View" edition of its Advisor Trend Monitor reports. The research, which Fuse conducted in partnership with, included a question where advisors were asked about their interest level in a variety of topics for value-add programs from mutual fund shops.

Pat Newcomb, director of benchmark research at Fuse, tells MFWire that Fuse compared advisors' value-add topic preferences with data Fuse already has on fundsters' beliefs about advisors' value-add topic preferences. There were some big gaps.

On the overestimation side, 86 percent of fundsters see "advisor practice management" as a key value-add topic for FAs. Yet only 47 percent of FAs surveyed indicated "strong" or "above average" interest in practice management value-adds.

86 percent of fundsters see "business-building techniques" as a key value-add topic for FAs. Yet only 55 percent of FAs surveyed expressed strong interest. And 67 percent of fundsters pointed to alternative investments as a key value-add topic, compared to 37 percent of FAs.

On the flip side, there were three topics where fundsters' underestimated FAs' interest in value-add programs: estate and tax planning (60 percent of FAs, versus 18 percent of fundsters), portfolio analysis (53 percent of FAs, versus zero fundsters), and private wealth or high-net-worth client management (49 percent of FAs, versus 20 percent of fundsters).

There are three practice areas where fundsters and FAs are mostly in agreement. More than 60 percent of FAs are interested in "economic or market insights" as a value-add program topic, compared to 71 percent of fundsters who see that topic as key. 54 percent of FAs like "customer relationship management" as a value-add topic, and 60 percent of fundsters saw that as a key topic.

One value-add program topic, retirement income distribution, appears equally popular on both sides; 60 percent of FAs are interested, and 60 percent of fundsters think FAs are interested.

The research included responses from more than 700 FAs across the independent broker-dealer, independent RIA, wirehouse, insurance broker, regional B-D, bank B-D, and private bank and bank trust channels.

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