Adopting the subscription fee model gives customers more options
In the age of Apple, Netflix, and Spotify, customers want a more flexible approach to the services available to them, and the subscription-based planning model is the next evolution in the financial industry. Advisors look for ways to tailor their offerings to meet changing client needs, including how, when, where, and what kind of financial advice is needed.
Over the past few years, we’ve seen more and more entertainment enthusiasts cut the cord, opting for subscriptions to enjoy their favorite TV shows, movies and music. Many physicians are starting to charge their patients membership fees instead of accepting insurance. The auto industry is taking advantage of monthly vehicle subscriptions – even products like daily vitamins, clothing, and beauty products are available to consumers through subscription services. Likewise, finance professionals and those seeking financial advice have started to opt for the paid subscription service model.
One of the main reasons customers ask for subscription service is that they feel they are out of control over their financial situation and that ongoing personalized advice provides organization, convenience and control.
A subscription-based model allows clients to have access to an advisor when they need it most, have confidence in their financial future, and choose their payment plan typically monthly or quarterly. A subscription plan also allows a client to work with their advisor during critical times in life when they may need advice from a trusted professional to meet changing financial circumstances and goals.
A customizable program
The level of service provided in a subscription-based plan is fully customized based on a client’s unique needs and goals to ensure value is delivered. The financial realities of each client vary in complexity and require different advice.
Clients can choose from basic services such as analyzing cash flow and debt planning, compiling a statement of net worth, or simply organizing financial documents and putting money in order. their “financial house”. Advanced services such as charity planning, wealth transfer planning, and business succession planning strategies are also available.
Depending on the client’s circumstances, these situations could take anywhere from a few months to several years to resolve completely. Additional services can be added or removed at any time according to the changing needs of the customer. The price of these services can also be adjusted accordingly throughout the process. This flexibility creates the opportunity for targeted financial planning and the ability for clients to get the right advice at the right time.
Subscriptions drive engagement
For advisors, the subscription-based model can deepen client relationships and help engage with new populations or potential clients. Clients who pay for advice are generally more serious about their financial future, more engaged with dependents before the wealth transfer, and more likely to return for future needs.
Subscription-based financial planning can meet the needs of a wide range of clients and help advisors and businesses identify gaps in clients’ financial well-being that could prevent them from achieving their goals and objectives. Ultimately, the real benefit is in the ongoing advice and relationship building that advisors provide to clients.
Meet consumers where they want us to be
As consumer preference for subscription services continues to grow, investment advisory firms and advisers should pay attention to this trend. By adapting to this model, we meet clients in a place they know more and more, rather than asking them to adapt to us. This allows our advisors to continue to meet a range of client needs in a method outside of the traditional planning format. Customers still receive unbiased financial advice, but now an evolved format can easily be scaled up or down depending on the needs of the customer.
Our advisors work with clients at all levels of the financial spectrum and have found that many benefit from this model. For example:
- The multi-generation HENRYs (High Earners Not Rich Yet) needed help planning for debt repayment or better understanding their cash flow. These clients tend to use their high incomes to afford a comfortable lifestyle and may not think too much about saving for the future or protecting themselves and their families.
- Divorced clients who are starting over have appreciated the personalized service to help inventory assets and develop strategies for working toward new life goals.
- High net worth clients have also benefited from this platform through an in-depth review of tax mitigation strategies, asset protection and overall coordination of their financial affairs.
Ongoing, personalized advice helps meet customers where they are, guiding them when they need it most. On an ongoing basis, advisors help clients achieve their financial goals and build client relationships essential to a successful planning engagement, striving to create value for each client. Most importantly, we are evolving our practice to adapt to how customers are increasingly engaging with their coveted lifestyle brands and moving from a commodity to a community partner.