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Financial industry news and events for RIAs.

5 min read

How to Find the Right RIA Service and Support During a Volatile Market

Sep 6, 2022 9:21:47 AM

Don’t get caught with sub-par service when you need it most.

With the Fed announcing further rate hikes to fight inflation, the economic community is bracing for what could be an extended period of market volatility.1 For financial advisors, volatility is simply part of the business. In fact, many advisors see market volatility as an opportunity to show value to clients. To be there when they need support the most – staying in front of them and showing how the planning and preparation has kept them on track to meet their long-term goals.

However, this opportunity can easily turn sour. If an advisor falls short in supporting clients during periods of volatility, that can create serious issues for those relationships.

Unfortunately for these advisors, it’s not always their fault.

Getting the Support to Provide Support

For advisors to effectively deliver support to clients, they often need support themselves.

In a volatile market, advisors often urge their clients to not take hasty actions – a reactionary approach could potentially hurt portfolios in the long run. Instead, advisors may look to rebalance their models in bulk to try and handle the volatility.

If the advisor looks to quickly implement a broad rebalance across models, they’ll want that rebalance to go into effect right away to help navigate the rocky markets. But what if an issue arises? What if that rebalance can’t kick in until the advisor connects with a support team member?

For advisors working with some RIA custodians, this could be an issue.

If the provider’s team is not responsive, the advisor could be stuck staring at their platform waiting for the changes to go through.

Perhaps the advisor will then try calling into the provider to get an update, only to be met with a long hold-time in an international call center. When they finally get ahold of a support team member, they could be met with sub-par service from someone who doesn’t understand their business or the move that they’re trying to make.

If these changes take too long to go through, the volatile market can take their toll. All the work that the advisor did to calm client nerves and plan for the volatility is thrown out the window. Clients are left confused – how could their trusted advisor let them down?

In the Eyes of the Client – RIA Custodians are an Extension of the RIA

It’s pretty clear in this scenario that the advisor’s custodial service provider is the reason for these client issues – for the client, that doesn’t mean the advisor is off the hook.

When clients start a relationship with an advisor, they’re signing on with that advisor. They work with that advisor for a range of reasons – maybe it’s an investment philosophy, or an approach to planning, or maybe they know each other from a social club. Whatever the reason, the advisor was likely at the center, not the advisor’s custodial service and technology provider(s).

When things go well, the client thanks the advisor. When things go south, that same thinking holds – it’s the fault of the advisor, not the vendor.

If a RIA has a fiduciary responsibility to act in the best interest of their clients, and their current RIA custodian is a barrier to acting in that best interest, that can be an issue. RIAs have a responsibility to work with a provider that will facilitate that service, not hinder it.


White-Glove Service, Every Day

At TradePMR, supporting RIAs with white-glove service is at the center of everything we do.

The firm was founded after Robb Baldwin, a former RIA who felt burned by sub-par service. A misstep by his RIA custodian created major issues for his clients – issues that took months to unravel and even longer to regain client trust.

Robb set out to build a provider focused on delivering both the technology and the service that RIAs need to succeed and grow. Service that will support them through all the challenges facing their businesses: operational hiccups, scaling growth, navigating market volatility.

The industry has responded, and it’s clear that TradePMR’s mission appears to be resonating. Thanks to this marriage of technology and service, TradePMR’s Fusion technology has been the top-rated Custodial Platform three out of the last four years in the T3/Inside Information Survey.2

Advisors operating a RIA do more than service clients. They are entrepreneurs that balance their time between managing a team, building operational efficiencies, developing their businesses, and forming deeper client relationships. They need every second they can squeeze out of the workday, and any time wasted dealing with lackluster service can potentially harm their business, and their clients.

Are You Prepared to Support Your Clients in a Volatile Market?

If you feel that your RIA custodian could be delivering better service to you and your team, we should talk. We can dive into your unique business, where you feel your service could be improved, and if TradePMR could be the right firm to take you into the next stage for your RIA.

Don’t get caught in a storm without the right support – we’re here to help advisors serve their clients and build their businesses, every day.



1 Market Experts Predict Further Volatility As Fed Rate Hikes Leave ‘Little Room’ For Soft Landing, Forbes, by Sergei Klebnikov. Published August 29th, 2022.

2 T3/Inside Information Survey, Joel Bruckenstein and Bob Veres, May 2022, sponsored by AssetBook, Holistiplan, Advyzon, Addepar, and Fidelity Investments, T3/Inside Information Advisor Software Survey, Joel Bruckenstein and Bob Veres, March 2021, sponsored by Salesforce, and 2019 Software Survey, Joel Bruckenstein and Bob Veres, January 2019, sponsored by Orion Advisor Services and Morningstar, Inc.


Written by TradePMR