What should you do? Draft a follow up letter
We recommend that all clients be contacted at least once every six months and we have provided you with an example of how you should draft your contact letter. This is disclosed further below. You should, of course, modify the template below to suit your practice and your clients.
This letter should be sent to all clients who have not had an SoA prepared in the last six months including “inactive clients” and this should be sent to each client on a regular basis using a system that best suits your practice. For example:
- a six-month follow up letter for client. This entails a follow-up letter being sent to each client, on 1st July of each year, where they have not received an SoA since 1st January of that same year. This will enable you as a Financial Advisor to ascertain that your previous advice per the earlier SoA, remains appropriate to your client and their circumstances; or
- an internal monthly check. This may be as simple as looking in your diary to identify all clients who have not received an SoA in the last six months, and who have not been sent the six-month follow-up letter as discussed above. A follow up letter should then be sent to these clients. Once you have a system set up for these checks, it should not take long before the monthly checks become half-yearly checks as your system stabilises itself.
It is not a bad idea to send more than one letter, and you should record each communication sent out to your client so that it is documented in each client file. If your client does not respond to the first letter, send another one a few months later referring to the earlier letter and noting the absence of a response. You can then recommend a meeting in stronger terms so that the risk minimisation aspect is enhanced.
All attempts to follow up with your client, will be rendered futile if you cannot prove that the communication was sent. To negate this risk, an email is the most effective means for you to follow up with your client since an email is, of course, time stamped and contemporaneously creates a file note. If your clients are not technologically inclined, it goes without saying that there are more traditional means by which you may follow up with your clients. Where it can be time stamped and verified, the better for you and your practice when it comes to record keeping. A facsimile is one example, or posted letter. Express or Registered Mail is advisable – this way, your client cannot deny receipt of your letter if something ends up going wrong.
CLIENT FOLLOW UP LETTER
Dear Name of client
I am writing to recommend we meet to discuss your financial circumstances and to identify whether our last statement of advice is still appropriate to your financial circumstances or whether better strategies can be implemented.
Our last statement of advice may need to be up-dated due to changing economic conditions, changes to your specific financial products and other investments that we have recommended (including their expected performance and their risk profile) and/or your own changing financial circumstances.
Your statement of advice and financial plan is a dynamic document and it needs to be reviewed regularly to ensure your needs and expectations continue to be met. Without appropriate review and monitoring it is possible your needs and expectations will not be met and the statement of advice and financial plan will no longer be appropriate to your financial circumstances.
We also have a number of new ideas and strategies we want to discuss with you.
We expect your statement of advice does need to be changed.
Our fee for attending this meeting is $X and this fee note should be tax deductible but this should be confirmed with your tax agent before your tax return is lodged.
Could you please contact me to arrange a time and a place that suits you for our next meeting?
Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any concerns or questions before our meeting.