Christian Rodier, Managing Director of FS Wealth Advisor, speaks about how the year 2020 redefines managing clients’ assets.
How Can Wealth Managers Stay Confident Considering The Challenges Covid-19 Brings To Investing?
Like in every economic recession, we see that the effects of Covid-19 are causing a lot of anxiety right now. At our firm, we are very familiar with our clients’ concerns. We address these early on from the beginning of our relationship and establish long-term financial goals that remain stable, no matter the short-term economic effects. Our focus is on our clients’ objectives, not on changing market conditions.
Because of this, the financial plans and portfolios we build together with our clients are flexible enough to withstand exceptional periods like these. From my point of view, confident wealth management starts with resilience. However, it is equally important for us to keep our clients involved and frequently update them about current developments and different considerations. Focusing on a personal connection, providing reassurance, and shared trust becomes even more crucial in times like these.
How Has Client Interaction Changed In 2020?
For us, the most evident change was transitioning our client meetings from in-person to virtual to protect the wellbeing of our clients and staff. While meeting the technical requirements was a small hurdle at first, the more significant challenge has been guiding clients at a distance in a time when they seek personal connection more than anything else.
To address this rising need, we have increased the frequency of our client meetings to pay even more attention to their current concerns. We understood the importance of demonstrating empathy and assuring them of our continuous support. In this way, we have been able to adjust the client experience to the new conditions and maintain our valuable relationships.
Looking Back At Other Economic Downturns, What Is Your Most Important Learning About Investment Management?
In my experience, the principle “diversification is key” is really all that matters in a successful investment strategy. To achieve this at FS Wealth Advisor, we research attractive investment opportunities spanning a wide range of sectors and different geographic locations.
Our thoughtful portfolio design allows us to reduce risks and achieve sustainable growth. Since we also specialize in offshore investments, we facilitate our clients’ access to international markets and provide them with the flexibility to reduce tax liabilities abroad.
How Did You Find Your Way Into Wealth Management?
I have always had a passion for money and analyzing stock markets, but what I loved most about choosing the path of a financial advisor was to personally guide clients in harnessing unique opportunities for growth and wealth creation.
A famous saying in sailing goes like this: “A ship in the harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.” This best describes what I have always found inspirational about wealth. Understanding it as a vehicle for growth and value creation rather than something you have or do not have has motivated me from day one.
From Your Own Experience, What Advice Would You Give To Young Professionals Who Want To Start A Career In Wealth Management Today?
It goes without saying that pursuing a career in wealth management requires a passion for financial markets, in-depth knowledge of a wide range of financial products, and analytical skills. But as much as this is important, in the end, it is not all that counts for becoming a successful wealth manager. At FS Wealth Advisor, we equally take a candidate’s emotional intelligence into account. Especially in 2020, each financial advisor’s soft skills are put to the test.
Above all, wealth managers must bring the ability to build trust with clients. You are responsible for taking crucial decisions about significant wealth that took some of our clients a lifetime to build. Of course, you must primarily develop effective growth strategies, but you are also entrusted with very sensitive issues like estate planning. Only if you are able to create a personal connection with clients that allows you to understand their unique aspirations and needs, you will be able to provide real value throughout your career.