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12 Topics Advisors Should Discuss With Clients During Market Volatility


Advisors can discuss these 12 topics with clients during market volatility.Periods of market volatility can be distressing to clients. Savvy financial advisors know, however, that unsettling market conditions present an opportunity to touch base with clients and demonstrate value. Here are 12 topics Vanguard says advisors can discuss with clients during periods of volatility.

12 Topics Advisors Can Discuss With Clients During Market Volatility

Many advisors recommend that clients stay the course when the markets are topsy-turvy. But Vanguard notes that “staying the course doesn’t have to mean standing still.”

Volatility presents an opportunity to discuss portfolio assumptions and clean up clients’ financial plans. “These conversations can help your clients leverage windows of market disruption for potential long-term benefit,” Vanguard says.

These conversation-starters also let clients know that their advisor is thinking of them, help prevent emotional reactions to market upsets and present opportunities for planning.

Here are Vanguard’s 12 conversation starting points to have with clients during market volatility:

  1. Discuss rebalancing.
  2. Review clients’ risk tolerance and whether it’s changed while the markets are in upheaval.
  3. Analyze the benefits of active versus passive holdings.
  4. Review high-cost versus low-cost holdings and discuss the opportunities to make swaps.
  5. Address concentrated equity positions and consider chances to dilute them when share prices are lower.
  6. Review the tax efficiency of funds and consider replacements when warranted.
  7. Take stock of accounts, including tax-advantaged versus taxable, and consider strategies to improve asset location.
  8. Talk over the benefits of a Roth conversion.
  9. Update plans for spending in retirement.
  10. Discuss the order of retirement withdrawals from taxable and tax-advantaged accounts.
  11. Review spending rates.
  12. Explore methods to maintain a sufficient liquidity buffer.

Broadly, these topics fall under the categories of “asset allocation,” “tax efficiency” and “retirement strategies.” But how you start your conversations – and which of these items you address – will vary between clients.

Clients Crave Advisors Communication During Market Volatility

Advisors can discuss these 12 topics with clients during market volatility.Increased market volatility often intensifies stress for clients and advisors. But these market events can carry a silver lining: They may increase demand for financial advice.

A desire for more financial advice tends to rise among investors following periods of increased volatility, according to research from Cerulli Associates.

The study analyzed three notable upticks in volatility as measured by the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) over the past decade. Several investor groups saw an uptick in net advice demand in the year after each volatility spike.

For financial advisors, this trend can present an opportunity to demonstrate value to potential clients and strengthen ties with existing clients.

How Client Communications Have Changed in 2022

Savvy client communications strategies are an essential part of an advisory practice. That’s especially true during periods of market uncertainty.

According to a 2022 SmartAsset survey, about one in three advisors report an increase in client communication frequency in 2022 over the corresponding period in 2021.

In fact, approximately 42% of advisors report touching base with their clients quarterly, according to a survey of approximately 230 financial advisors. About 32% and 11% of advisors say that they check in monthly and weekly, respectively.

Additionally, financial advisors have moved to more virtual communications, including video calls, text messaging and emailing.

Tips for Growing Your Financial Advisory Business

  • Let us be your organic growth partner. If you are looking to grow your financial advisory business, check out SmartAsset’s SmartAdvisor platform. We match certified financial advisors with right-fit clients across the U.S.
  • Expand your radius. SmartAsset’s recent survey shows that many advisors expect to continue meeting with clients remotely following COVID-19. Consider broadening your search and working with investors who are more comfortable with holding virtual meetings or spacing out in-person meetings.

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