We Don’t Just Talk about the Market – Communicating with Clients During Volatile Times

May 19, 2023

A Q&A with Shannon Larson, financial advisor at STF Wealth Management

In this series, we explore the ways Dynamic-affiliate advisors communicate with their clients during these uncertain times. Now, more than ever, is the time to not only reassure your clients, but also to stay out in front of them. The importance of thoughtful, frequent communication—

even when you’re not discussing investments—is key to strengthening advisor-client relationships.

In this Q&A, Shannon Larson, a financial advisor at STF Wealth Management in Phoenix, shares her insights.

Key Takeaways from Shannon:

  • Don’t invalidate a client’s concern about market volatility.
  • Frequent check-ins and maintaining open lines of communication are priorities during tumultuous times.
  • This is truly the time to show your dedication to clients as a trusted resource.
  • Show clients the power of dollar cost averaging and the benefits of investing monies that are sitting on the sideline during a down market.
  • Focus on the big picture and remind clients that as volatile as things can be, it is temporary.

 Dynamic: What would you say is the most important “Do” and the most important “Don’t” when talking to clients about market volatility?

Shannon Larson: Do: Market volatility can be a daunting factor of investment accounts. When talking to clients about the downturn, it is important to remind clients to focus on the facts—the hard numbers—and remind them of the elasticity for these types of accounts. Another important point we stress is the value of removing emotions from the equation. We can find comfort and build confidence in making these decisions by focusing on their time horizon and future goals. We also remind them about our recently successful bull market as that helps to offset the bear market we are currently seeing. It’s important to look at averages.

Don’t: Invalidating a client’s concern about market volatility would be at the top of the list of the most important things we will not do. We have clients ranging from new investors to long-term investors who have successfully built a portfolio that allows them to live comfortably in retirement. Market volatility can be intimidating no matter where you are in your investment journey. It is essential that every concern is analyzed thoroughly to give them peace of mind.

D: What are some of the primary ways you’re alleviating uncertainty and fears among your clients during this time?

SL: Frequently checking in and maintaining open lines of communication are our priorities during these tumultuous times. We have reached out to every single one of our clients to talk about the market and answer any questions or address any concerns they might have. For clients that are more concerned than others, we have been calling more frequently. Clients that aren’t up for review for months are being contacted sooner to give them the option to review earlier.

This is truly our time to show our clients our dedication to them as their trusted resource for the market and easing their worries as we get through this together.

D: What types of strategies are you providing clients to better cope with or take advantage of market volatility?

SL: A strategy we have used to help clients better cope with the market volatility is to make sure they know they can call us at any time with any questions or concerns they might have. Clients need to hear from a professional they trust and know is diligently watching over their accounts; they need to know a plan is in place for the good times as well as the tough times. Simultaneously, we are helping clients take advantage of the market volatility by showing them the power of dollar cost averaging and the benefits of investing monies that are sitting on the sideline during this down market.

D: Has financial planning taken on a greater role in your practice during this time of market volatility?

SL: At the beginning of our relationship with clients, we focus on a thorough financial plan. We make sure to take every twist and turn of the market and life into consideration and continuously update their plan. Times like this are no different. It’s important to use this opportunity to show the impact a down market can have on retirement. Clients also love seeing that even during a down market, they are still tracking as planned. It is helpful to look at the big picture and know as volatile as things can be, it is temporary.

D: How does this bear market provide an opportunity for you and your firm to demonstrate your value to prospective clients?

SL: It’s easy to get caught up in the headlines and see the red of a down day. People will become concerned and make quick emotional decisions that can have a long-lasting impact on their financial goals. By working with us, they know they have a level-headed professional they can call on to help calm their nerves and help them build their confidence as we make the best financial decisions for them. When we walk through a client’s investment journey, they know they have a plan in place and are properly prepared for the volatility.

Shannon Larson is a financial advisor at STF Wealth Management. She is an Investment Advisor Representative with Dynamic Wealth Advisors dba STF Wealth Management. All investment advisory services are offered through Dynamic Wealth Advisors. Click here to view Larson’s full profile.

Read the Q&A with Brian Bucell, CFP®, managing partner at Crestview Capital Management

Read the Q&A with Jennifer Valdes, CFP®, principal of Financial Designs Wealth

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