Putting the “I” in Investor: How to Give Clients the Personalization They Expect


Consumers now expect customized treatment from all services – including their financial advisor. New technology can help even small practices keep up.

“One size fits all” no longer fits.

In a world where a person’s streaming service recommends movies they’ll love and their grocery app remembers their favorite snacks, investors are wondering why their financial advisor can’t deliver a tailored experience, or only segments them based on risk.

Research from Schwab and McKinsey confirms that consumers now expect all businesses, across industries, to get personal with them. That means financial advisors, no matter how large or small their practice, must adapt to retain existing clients and gain new ones. 

Key to Retention and Growth

In their “Next in Personalization” report, management consulting firm McKinsey found Americans are increasingly likely to shop around, and that brand loyalty hinges on customization

Among consumers: 

  • 71% expect tailored interactions with businesses 
  • 76% become annoyed if this personalization fails to happen

While business may be lost over a lack of personalization, the report showed the inverse also was true: Almost 80% of consumers said they were more likely to refer friends and family to a company that customizes its services. 

Keep Up With the Competition

The investment industry has been watching this growing trend. Schwab Advisor Services has conducted its Independent Advisor Outlook Study for 15 years but stressed one finding in 2022: “Investment personalization will continue to increase in importance.”

View on Personalization of Investment Portfolios the Next 5 Years

Most advisors have personalization on their radar. 

Source: Schwab Advisor Services, “Independent Advisor Outlook Study,” January 2022


The majority of RIAs, Schwab found, know they need to offer clients and prospects more customized services. It’s one way to underscore their value as they compete against passive products and robo-advisors in the growing self-serve retail ecosystem. 

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Reach Younger Prospects

Personalization is especially vital when pursuing a key prospect segment: younger generations. Poised to inherit trillions of dollars through the “great wealth transfer,” this group came of age in the iPhone era and now expects to put the “i” in investor. 

Millennials, in particular, respond well to personalized marketing. Not surprisingly, they are driving the demand for personalized wealth management, according to Schwab’s survey. 

Generations Needs for Personalization

Clients and prospects born after 1965 will expect personalized services. 

Source: Schwab Advisor Services, “Independent Advisor Outlook Study,” January 2022

Bring the Personal to the Portfolio

So how can advisors personalize what they offer? 

While a “happy birthday” email tailored by name and date may provide a nice client touchpoint, it’s not enough to cement the relationship. Neither is an off-the-shelf portfolio, as even smaller clients expect their investments to reflect their individual goals and values. 

To offer true personalization, advisors must learn what makes each client unique, including their:

  • Fears—This means going deeper than the standard risk-tolerance survey to gain a complete picture of a client’s risk capacity. 
  • Needs—A financial planning conversation must glean more than target retirement age. Advisors should meet clients at the appropriate stage of their lifecycle and help them address issues like budgeting, saving, and more. 
  • Wants—Clients expect their investments to align with their worldview, whether that’s a desire to make an impact on social policy or an interest in new scientific developments. 

How to Personalize at Scale

Getting to know each client to this degree, and factoring all the data into their portfolio, is easier said than done. But technology can help.

Conversational AI and other types of cutting-edge technology can take complex calculations and translate them into easy-to-use tools. The TIFIN Grow platform quickly:  

  • Determines clients’ fears, needs and wants through intelligent assessments
  • Helps advisors customize proposals and proposals
  • Facilitates the longer-term investment management process

In a fraction of the time it would take to manually gather this data, advisors gain detailed insights about each client, so they can offer the personalization that’s imperative today. And, because the process is so efficient, it’s easier to court and serve more clients—so you can grow your practice and lead it into the future.

Learn how TIFIN Grow can help you personalize your services. Book a demo today.

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