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July kicked off the third quarter with a bang as stocks surged throughout much of the month. Investors were encouraged by solid employment growth, a rise in personal income and consumer spending, a surge in the housing sector, and an increase in industrial production. All news was not positive, however. The second-quarter gross domestic product fell more than 31% and many states saw an increase in the number of reported COVID-19 cases. Nevertheless, investors stayed with equities, pushing values higher for the fourth consecutive month. Tech stocks drove the Nasdaq to a 6.8% gain, followed by the S&P 500 (5.5%), the Global Dow (3.5%), the small caps of the Russell 2000 (2.7%), and the Dow (2.4%). Treasury bond prices climbed, sending yields lower in July. Crude oil prices settled at $40.40 per barrel, nearly $1.00 ahead of their June closing values. Gold prices closed July at $1,990.00, about 11% higher than June’s closing price.

The positive run for stocks continued in August, as each of the benchmark indexes listed here advanced notably. The Nasdaq climbed nearly 9.6%, the Dow rose 7.6%, the S&P 500 advanced 7.0%, the Global Dow vaulted 6.0%, and the Russell 2000 gained 5.5%. Crude oil and gas prices rose marginally, while the price of gold fell. Throughout the month, states struggled to settle on appropriate protocols for reopening schools. Testing for the virus increased, and the number of reported COVID-19 cases and deaths rose.

did you know?

Maria Quinn from Vanguard shared some useful data on client expectations based on generation. The information may surprise you.

Desired frequency of communications

  • Baby Boomers – 42% quarterly
  • Gen-X – Split between monthly, quarterly, and annually
  • Millennials – 40% monthly

Primary reasons behind client satisfaction

Reputation and trust ranked highest for each generation, with 28% of millennials saying it was the most critical factor, Gen-X at 23% and Baby Boomers at 25%. Coming in second was relationships for Boomers and service for millennials and Gen-X.

Source: Vanguard Presentation: Investors’ Concerns and Expectations

bright ideas

Your clients are often your biggest sources of referrals. But do you give them an experience they can’t wait to tell their friends about? If one of your clients were asked about the level of their experience with you, what would they say? Would they be raging fans or just middle-of-the-road? Are you giving them the client experience they expect, or better yet, doing anything to exceed those expectations? The client experience you create should be one to set you apart. After all, you want your clients to be letting everyone and anyone know how incredible you are and referring their network of friends and family to you. But you have to earn it.

At our recent Advisor Symposium*, Travis Brewer of TD Ameritrade talked about the client experience gap. The space in the middle between what you think is a great experience but what your clients feel is just ok. According to a Bain & Company survey, 80% of CEOs across all industries thought they were delivering excellent service. However, in comparison, only 8% of the surveyed clients said they were providing exceptional service. So, how do we fill the experience gap?

Product. Price. Experience.

There are three elements of a business that you can compete on: product, price and experience. While your competition can match you on product and price, the client experience is something you can solely create. That’s the new X-factor. Your firm is in the relationship business. You may be trading and creating financial plans, but at its core, it’s about the relationships you develop and the trust you earn. Ask yourself what kind of experience am I giving my clients, and what are my opportunities to grow? Are you creating value for your clients? Conducting an annual investment review and sending a holiday card isn’t enough. What sets you apart?

Design or Default

Is your client experience by design or default, and is it consistent? To create a great experience, you first have to start with having your service experience and expectations documented. This way, both you and your team can work to deliver upon those expectations routinely and systematically. To further deliver upon what your clients are looking for, create a feedback loop. This could be as simple as a questionnaire or a few key questions to ask at the end of a specific interaction with your firm. For example, the onboarding phase. Ask the client what their experience was interacting with the firm at every point, from first hearing about you to meetings to paperwork, and what you could do to improve upon their future interactions. You have to remember to close the loop, thank them for their suggestions and work to implement those that would enhance your client experience.

Distributors, Accumulators and HENRYs

Baby Boomers are the distributors, Gen-X the accumulators and millennials are HENRYs (High Earner Not Rich Yet). As detailed above, each generation has different perceptions and expectations. Between 60-90% of typical advisors’ clients are in retirement age, leaving Gen-X and millennials disproportionally underserved. Catering to each generation can be tricky, but the client experience must adapt to have a sustainable business. Today’s accumulators are tomorrow’s distributors, and their expectations for client services will differ. As a financial professional entrusted with your clients’ assets, it’s imperative to deliver on these service expectations. Communicate openly with your ideal clients. Conduct surveys, focus groups or ask them at your next meeting. You’ll be surprised at what you learn, and it can help you refine your client experience and create raging, referring fans.

For additional ideas or recommendations on timely client conversations, feel free to contact your wholesaler or visit our Advisor Toolbox for a number of great resources.

Source: TDAmeritrade Presentation: Elevating the Client Experience

Note the above presentations were created for our advisors with the goal of helping to provide additional resources, tools and talking points that can be used to help navigate clients through this unprecedented time. As such, these presentations are for advisor use only and should not be shared with clients.

beacon news

Beacon Capital Management has been named one of CNBC’s FA 100 of top-rated financial advisory firms of 2020.

“At Beacon, we pride ourselves on providing innovative portfolio management solutions that work to capture gains while striving to limit losses from today’s market volatility. This recognition reaffirms that our investment philosophy is helping to provide today’s investors with the peace of mind they need to navigate investing in our ‘new normal.’” — Chris Cook, founder and CEO of Beacon Capital Management.

Be sure to visit Beacon’s News & Press page for the latest credibility pieces to share with your clients and prospects, and follow Beacon on LinkedIn for the latest updates as they happen.


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For Advisor Use Only, Not to Be Used With Clients

The GIPS Compliant Presentations for our Vantage portfolios can be obtained by clicking on the link below.  If you would like the Compliant Presentations to be emailed directly via PDF file or if you would like to receive a copy of Beacon’s Composite Descriptions; please respond to this email or contact Beacon at 937-439-9093.

BCM 2018 Compliant Presentations

Beacon Capital Management, Inc. is a registered investment adviser with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Information presented is for educational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. Investments involve risk and unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Past performance is not indicative of future performance.

Additional information about Beacon Capital Management is also available on the SEC’s website at under CRD number 120641. Beacon Capital Management only transacts business in states where it is properly registered, notice filed, or excluded or exempted from registration or notice filing requirements.

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Beacon Capital Management

7777 Washington Village Drive, Suite 280, Dayton, OH 45459

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