A 2016 Call to Action for the Evidence-Based Advisors Group

Evidence-Based AdvisorsCalling All Evidence-Based Advisors!

If you’ve not yet heard about it, a small team of us has been maintaining an Evidence-Based Advisors (EBA) LinkedIn group since 2008. What began as a modest adventure has grown to a list of 1,500+ members, with new join requests coming in weekly.

The majority of members are evidence-based advisors, just as the name implies. There also are a scattering of service providers like yours truly; fund manager representatives from firms such as Dimensional, AQR and Bridgeway; and some academics who have expressed interest in participating in meaningful conversations (versus using the forum as a promotional venue). Advisors from the US, Canada, the UK, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, and a number of other countries are represented in the group. Just this morning, we accepted a join request from an advisor based in Santiago, Chile. Bienvenida!

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Client Communications and Current Crises: What’s an Advisor To Do?

Hero Image

The New Year’s market volatility gives me an excellent opportunity to explore a question I am frequently asked by evidence-based advisors:

When the markets are having a bad day (or few), should I reach out to my clients right away, or hold off until the results are more clear?

I get that there are a number of reasons it may seem logical to pause and reflect before sending out client communications in the midst of a market crisis:

  • You might inadvertently generate anxiety where none existed. If you’ve done your job, they should already be remaining calm.
  • If your clients haven’t noticed the crisis or they don’t care about it, they already are best positioned to adhere to their long-term, evidence-based plan. Why mess it up?
  • Either making too light of breaking news or analyzing it too deeply could backfire on you if the markets render your comments obsolete or just plain wrong.
  • Reacting to breaking news may feel contrary to your evidence-based philosophy. Are you sending the wrong message by implying the news matters?

Go Ahead, Hit the Hero Key

So, yes, I can understand why you may be reluctant to be in touch with your clients during market crises. But here is why I believe that none of these bullet points should prevent you from doing so anyway.

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