The wealthy, for the most part, believe in the value and wealth-creating properties of the markets. Nevertheless, they still get spooked—sometimes seriously spooked—by significant drops in prices. The roller-coaster activity of the markets can actually be as disconcerting as a steady decline.

What’s important in times of market upheaval is to communicate with your wealthy clients and help them understand the bigger picture. In other words, you need to effectively manage their expectations during the roller-coaster ride. By keying into a wealthy client’s high-net-worth personality, you can more easily and effectively customize your messaging to ensure not only that these investors continue their relationship with you but that you also garner more monies to manage.

Each of the nine high-net-worth personalities’ perceptions and their reactions to the strong swings in the markets are different. Moreover, connecting with each personality around the topic of market volatility can enable you to not only continue and strengthen your relationships but also provide the opportunity to generate additional business.

Core Messaging
Core messages are very personality dependent. While the overall theme is not to be concerned and to think longer-term, each high-net-worth personality needs to hear this in ways he or she can readily relate to. In Figure 1, we highlight the core message by each high-net-worth personality.

What’s important is to be able to take a core message and connect with the respective high-net-worth personality. The following are some examples:

Family Stewards: “As we’ve discussed, markets go up and down. What’s happening is the market is not going to hurt us in the long term. You’re still going to have the monies to take care of your family the way we talked about.”

Independents: “This is the market volatility we’ve been expecting. The fundamentals still look good. Let’s keep our eyes on things and stay focused on your goal of retirement. Over the next few months, we want to make sure we’re on target for your retirement.”

Phobics: “Something’s going on in the stock market. I’m carefully watching it for you. By the way, how are the kids?”

The Anonymous: “Remember the e-mails I sent you about market volatility? I want to assure you that we’re watching things very carefully. We’ve put together a confidential analysis for you. You’ll have that analysis later today and we’ll talk about what steps we should take.”

Moguls: “Our top strategists believe the market volatility will provide many excellent investment possibilities. We should take the high ground and move in times of weakness.”

VIPs: “We’ve pulled together some of our top people to review the situation for our most important clients like you. We see that our most astute investors are taking advantage of the market volatility.”

Accumulators: “Let’s talk about the recent market activity. This is a bump in the road we’ve been prepared for. Market fundamentals are still good so we’re confident we can achieve our aggressive growth objectives. We now have opportunities to make more investments consistent with our original plan.”

Gamblers: “The odds are better than any card game. It’s time to think about what moves we should be making here to take advantage of what’s going on in the market.”