If you are a financial planners or wealth manager, I am sure I do not need to remind you that you operate in an extremely competitive market space. Whether you have a mature practice with an established client base or are still actively working to grow and attract new business, standing out from competitors and building/maintaining professional visibility are ubiquitous objectives for all of us in the field. In the 2020s “standing out” means having a distinctive digital presence both in terms of your website and your online visibility (i.e., search ranking), and one of the best ways to make your practice stand out is to incorporate useful, free value-added services into your website. Password management is an example of one such service that just about everyone needs.
Since I am guessing you have never considered offering password management as a service before, here are five good reasons why you should:
1. Build Client Loyalty
Keeping track of passwords is a hassle. Even if you and/or your clients are already using paid-subscription password management apps such as Dashlane and LastPass, if your client service model involves giving clients usernames and passwords that they need to log into your custodial platforms or other planning modules you provide, you are part of the problem. Offering free password management makes you part of the solution – and your clients will appreciate you for that!
2. Make Your Website a Client Hub.
If your clients are storing their important usernames and passwords on an app that is embedded into your website and that they can access from any device anywhere on the planet where there is Internet service, they now have a compelling reason to visit your website on a regular basis, even if they don’t have any investment or financial planning matters to review.
3. Boost Your Online Visibility.
Your online visibility, often defined as your “search ranking,” is determined by a number of factors. Key among these factors are the amount of visitors your website attracts, how long they stay on your site, and how many clicks they make on your website. Boosting these numbers is often a real challenge for financial advisors. Embedding password management software into your HOME page or a client portal page can go a long way toward helping your search engine optimization (SEO).
4. Make Your Client Relationships Stickier.
The best way to illustrate this concept is by using a personal example. I have an online banking relationship that I hate. The bank offers terrible service and has been nothing but a pain-in-the neck since I elected to make it my primary checking account several years ago. So why don’t I leave, you ask? Because the relationship is sticky. I have so many automatic bill payments and automated deposits that it is too much hassle to leave. Obviously, you do not want clients to have the same feeling about you that I have I have toward this bank, but the principle that the banks created to make relationships sticky applies to our business too. Simply put, if your clients are storing all of their important usernames and passwords on an app you provided to them as a valuable free service, they are probably not going to leave you either.
5. Stand Apart From Your Competitors.
Industry thought leaders Michael Kitces (Nerd’s Eye View 3/19/2021)and Bob Veres (2020 T3 Technology Survey, p. 38) have each referenced password management as an important element of financial planning and have both noted the dearth of solutions available for financial advisors. As a work-around, some financial advisors have seen fit to steer clients to consumer subscriptions services. Fortunately, there is a now a better solution. Nest Egg Guru’s latest application, Password Guru is available as custom-branded application that allows financial advisors to offer an unlimited number of password management accounts to their clients. Since the application was just released in March 2021, you can bet that none of your competitors offers this service yet!
Of course, even if you like the idea of offering free password management to your clients as a value-added service, this is only an attractive proposition if the app is both secure and user-friendly to your clients. While we encourage all FAs to schedule a demo to learn for themselves, upon closer examination you will find that Password Guru has both elite back-end security and elegant, unobtrusive multi-factor authentication on the front-end. It was also created to rival the leading consumer paid subscription apps in terms of ease of use and functionality.
For your reference, I am a former user of LastPass. I am also a financial planner with a mature practice. I created Password Guru to be a better tool for advisers to offer as a custom-branded service to clients. I have more than 200 usernames and passwords that I use, so I created Password Guru to make it easy for me to create, search, sort, and import/export my password data. I encourage all of my fellow financial advisors to try out Password Guru yourself for free to see how you like it. I am more than happy to show you how I use the app myself and how I use it in my practice as a free service to clients.
To schedule a demo, just call me at (808) 529-9644 or email me at Guru@NestEggGuru.com. For more information on our complete suite of affordable, client facing engagement software, go to www.NestEggGuru.com.
J.R. Robinson is a co-founder of Nest Egg Guru and the owner of Financial Planning Hawaii. He and Nest Egg Guru co-founder Jack C. De Jong, Jr. Ph.D., CFA, MBA have co-authored numerous journal papers on retirement portfolio sustainability. Their latest research contributions, A Case Study in Sequence Risk: A 20-year retrospective on the impact of the 2000-2002 and 2007-2009 bear markets on retirement nest egg sustainability, may be found on SSRN.