Financial planners who actively integrate a client portal into their practices have significantly better client outcomes, including reduced financial anxiety and increased loyalty and trust.
DENVER, Sept. 28, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Cutting-edge research conducted by eMoney Advisor, a leading provider of technology solutions and services that help people talk about money, and the Financial Planning Association® (FPA®), the leading membership organization and trade association for CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals, reveals the profound impact of financial technology – especially client portals –on financial planners and their clients. This comprehensive study emphasizes that access to technology alone is not enough to make a meaningful impact; it is how financial planners utilize client portals that drives transformative outcomes for their clients and businesses.
"The development of technology solutions has grown exponentially in recent years to serve the needs of financial planners and their clients. Technology has played a critical role in connecting me, as a financial planner, more meaningfully to my clients while connecting them to critical information," said 2023 FPA President James Lee, CFP®, CRPC®, AIF®. "This research with our partners at eMoney Advisor doesn't just highlight that connection; it quantifies it and provides the rationale for every planner to consider the role of technology in their practices."
The study, which surveyed 849 financial planners of diverse backgrounds and business models, demonstrates that the value of a client portal extends far beyond mere operational efficiency. While many financial planners utilize technology for streamlining processes, those who leverage client portals effectively realize a range of benefits that significantly impacts their clients' financial well-being and drives better outcomes related to client trust, anxiety, motivation, referrals, and loyalty.
"At eMoney, we've known that technology transforms the planning experience for quite some time. However, this study identifies the particular ways in which a client portal strengthens trust, motivation, loyalty and other key components of the planner-client relationship," said Emily Koochel, Ph.D., AFC®, CFT-I™, BFA™, Head of Financial Wellness Programs, eMoney Advisor. "It's clear that consistent use of a client portal is an action all financial planners can take to drive better outcomes for their clients and their businesses."
The use of client portals among "Portal Power Users" – defined as planners using a client portal, believing technology is important, and having more than 40% of clients actively using the portal – reveals the following key findings:
- Reduced Financial Anxiety: The research found that 74% of Portal Power Users indicated that their clients are experiencing less financial anxiety. Having easy access to their financial information and ongoing communication with their financial planners through the portal makes clients feel more in control and at ease.
- Client Trust: A remarkable 80% of financial planners identified as Portal Power Users reported a substantial increase in client trust. Clients who engage with these portals feel more confident in their financial decisions and the guidance their planners provide.
- Increased Client Motivation: Among Portal Power Users, 68% noticed a significant boost in client motivation. The portal's interactive features and real-time capabilities help clients stay engaged with their financial goals and progress, leading to greater motivation to achieve them.
- Client Referrals: An impressive 67% of Portal Power Users reported increased client referrals. Satisfied clients who benefit from the enhanced communication and transparency provided by client portals are more likely to recommend their planners.
- Client Loyalty: The research also found that 63% of Portal Power Users observed an increase in client loyalty. The ongoing engagement facilitated by the portal fosters stronger relationships between planners and clients, resulting in higher client retention rates.
- Higher Client Satisfaction: More than half (55%) of financial planners surveyed reported that their clients' satisfaction levels had increased significantly since implementing client portals into their practices.
The research underscores the pivotal role that client portals and other technologies will play in transforming the delivery of financial planning advice in the years to come. It further illustrates that technology and, more specifically, client portals are table stakes for financial planners. The study found that 64% of planners expect to increase technology spending within the next two years, and 34% expect to increase spending by more than 11%, focusing on achieving higher client satisfaction, increasing client engagement, and realizing improved workflow automation.
"There's been so much progress in the financial planning profession, and eMoney is proud to contribute to its rapid evolution. We are excited for what we have to offer planners, especially with new updates coming soon to the eMoney client portal," Koochel said.
For more details on the research findings and their implications for the financial planning profession, please visit engage.financialplanningassociation.org/clients-and-technology.
About the Financial Planning Association
The Financial Planning Association® (FPA®) is the principal membership organization for CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM professionals and those engaged in the financial planning process. FPA is the CFP® professional's partner in planning by helping them realize their vision of professional fulfillment through practice support, learning, advocacy, and networking. Learn more about FPA at financialplanningassociation.org and on Twitter at twitter.com/fpassociation.
About eMoney Advisor, LLC
eMoney Advisor, LLC ("eMoney") provides technology solutions and services that help people talk about money. Rooted in holistic financial planning, eMoney solutions strengthen client relationships, streamline business operations, enhance business development, and drive overall growth. More than 106,000 financial professionals across firms of all sizes use the eMoney platform to serve more than 5.8 million households throughout the U.S. For more information, please visit: emoneyadvisor.com.
SOURCE Financial Planning Association