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Lessons from lockdown: How to find new clients in 2020

“My experience this year has been that once the initial fear and concern over fund vales had passed, there have been instances where existing and new clients have entered the market with new money, adding more to pensions, switching from cash where they’ve seen the low interest rates on offer fall even further.

“I have several clients who are considering whether they can afford to bring forward their planned retirement date, citing the desire for a better work-life balance or the need to make the most of life as the reason, clearly influenced by the pandemic.

“There are others who have been keen to understand the effects of possible and maybe imminent tax changes upon their plans discussed in the media; also how an increase in capital gains tax or inheritance tax will impact their and their family’s futures, so some decisions that may have been planned in a year or so have been brought forward.”

A similar sentiment was echoed by Kusal Ariyawansa, who says clients need help from them with their short-term plans and not just traditional long-term goals such as retirement and pensions.

The chartered financial planner at Manchester-based Appleton Gerrard says: “Since we went into lockdown, all enquiries have been through online channels and have focused on people’s concerns rather than needs for planning.

“It is clear the vast majority do not have an effective plan in place that would give them comfort and peace of mind in knowing they are prepared for the worst while planning for the best.

“Aside from technical questions around furlough and potential loss of employment, the conversations progressed to understanding what planning had taken place and what their main concerns were. I found that people were less concerned about long-term funds, such as pensions and their losses, and focused on loss of short-term funds, such as Isas.

“This is a great opportunity for advisers to showcase the more caring aspects of our profession. It does not take too much effort or cost to schedule a 15-minute call and reassure those who are in genuine need of help.”

Be prepared

There is no doubt there is a growing appetite for financial advice due to the uncertainty of coronavirus. 

Results from a survey in July by insurer NFU Mutual found that coronavirus has prompted investors to make themselves more financially secure.

It found one in five of the 614 respondents said they had invested more money in the last three months, with 58 per cent of those people saying it is because they are spending less.