Russell Investments study details how financial advisors add value

Firm launches ‘Effective Client Reviews’ resource to help advisors amplify their value amid COVID-19 turbulence

SEATTLE, May 6, 2020 —Russell Investments has released its Value of an Advisor study and launched a timely webpage to help financial advisors communicate their value in vital client reviews amid COVID-19-related market turbulence and economic hardships.

“We believe advisors have never been more valuable than in the midst of this challenging time,” said Brad Jung, head of North America Advisor & Intermediary Solutions. “Our annual report holistically analyzes the real value that advisors deliver to their clients in their portfolios. Advisors  provide vital services and help investors avoid behavioral mistakes, especially during times of market distress.”

Jung added that while dedicated advisors are confronting challenges as volatility batters many investors’ savings, they also need to articulate that the value they deliver goes far beyond selecting and managing investments.

Russell Investments developed the following formula based on research and practice to help advisors understand and communicate the full value of their services: A+B+C+P+T = value of an advisor. The formula is explained in a detailed report as follows:

  • A is for annual rebalancing of investment portfolios. The study also offers three steps advisors should take before making a rebalance recommendation.
  • B is for behavioral mistakes individual investors. The study offers tips for tackling five common investment biases.
  • C is for cost of basic investment-only management.
  • P is for planning costs and ancillary services. The study helps advisors communicate what their professional hours are worth.
  • T is for tax-smart planning and investing. The study shows how to help investors avoid erosion of returns and grow after-tax wealth.

Each value-add component is also explained in an online resource for investors: Why work with a financial advisor

Russell Investments aims to help advisors communicate their value to clients, while also offering practical tools designed to enhance their value to clients. The latest development in this effort is the launch of a timely online “Effective Client Reviews" resource that provides advisors with practical guidance on how to prepare for their reviews, conduct them and  implement a strong follow-up workflow. The site includes direct access to a comprehensive array of material advisors can download and use to support their reviews.

“First-quarter reviews have been challenging with the combination of market uncertainty and limitations around in-person interactions, so we wanted to offer some help with practical tools advisors might consider, including a prep checklist, sample meeting agenda, tips on virtual technology best practices and client-friendly language for the meeting,” said Sophie Gilbert, head of Business Solutions for Russell Investments’ North America Advisor and Intermediary Solutions business.

Gilbert added that financial advisors’ clients will want clear perspective on global markets, confidence in their process and their portfolio, and mutual clarity on their most important priorities, which may have shifted in recent weeks.

To support financial advisors through those complex conversations, the Effective Client Reviews online resource is structured on the following three key ingredients of effective reviews:

  1. Perspective: Help their clients gain perspective on world news, market headlines and the value of working with an advisor.
  2. Process: Help advisors walk their clients through their client-centered wealth management process, plan and portfolios.
  3. Poise: Help advisors speak to their clients with intentional words and authentically ask, listen and empathize throughout their meetings with clients.

“We want advisors to know we stand with them during this unprecedented time,” said Gilbert. “We have their backs, so they can focus on their clients, their teams and their families and answer the question, Will I be ok?”





About Russell Investments

Russell Investments is a leading global investment firm providing tailored solutions and services to institutions and individuals through financial intermediaries. Russell Investments is dedicated to improving people’s financial security, leveraging an 83-year client-centric heritage rooted in investment innovation. The firm is the fourth-largest adviser in the world with $270.1 billion in assets under management (as of 3/30/2020) and $2.55 trillion in assets under advisement (as of 9/31/2019) for clients in 32 countries. Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, Russell Investments operates through 21 additional offices in major financial centers such as New York, London, Tokyo and Shanghai.

Steve Claiborne, 206-505-1858,