Medium is as crucial as message

After all, who is better placed than the adviser and the advice company, to ensure that the client’s products and portfolios are not only suitable, but are keeping them on track to achieve their agreed financial plan and objectives?

Trust in the printed product

Almost all advice companies now have a process for ensuring investment suitability – using that process to ensure the adviser and business are central to the client relationship on an ongoing basis is an opportunity of strategic proportions.

But how? How do you achieve this in a way that is cost-effective and reduces risk? How do companies demonstrate their value and ensure the client continues to see them as central to planning their long-term finances?

If you look outside our industry answers begin to appear. Elsewhere, in an era in which trust is at a premium and concerns over fake news are rife, other industries are turning back to print.

Magazines like Prospect – a high-end political, economic and current affairs title – have grown over the past few years.

The Economist continues robustly in the UK and has a circulation of more than 800,000 worldwide (1.6m if you include digital subscribers). Saga magazine, targeted at a demographic advisers will be familiar with (well-off, over-50s) has a circulation of almost 250,000.

High net worth individuals are well served with glossies like the FT Weekend, while National Trust Magazine with a circulation of almost 2.5m per issue is the most widely read in the country.

Its glossy format and focus on admittedly more pleasurable pursuits than pensions; like interiors, gardens, landscape, alongside pieces on the environment continues to appeal, even in a digital age.

Interestingly, the American Association of Retired Persons claims to produce the highest circulation magazine in the world, with 47m readers; it is the US equivalent of Saga, targeting the active and affluent over-50s. It is a combination of lifestyle as well as financial content.

It is not just traditional brands that are doing this; Airbnb has a magazine now, Net-a-Porter and Asos the online fashion retailers have magazines, even Facebook has turned to print with ‘Grow’, its content for small businesses.

In times of uncertainty people are turning to the solidity and trust inherent in print alongside digital as a means of educating themselves.

Of course achieving this is difficult in an industry that is so heavily regulated and where advice so personal. But arguably it is also more important. When demonstrating the value you bring, the ‘medium’ is important as well as the ‘message’.

Helping clients understand the value you have brought as part of an annual review might cover whether: