Orion Advisor Solutions Breaks New Ground Blending Behavioral Psychology with Award-Winning Advisor Technology

Advisor tech gets a behavioral boost, embedding the science of psychology into everyday workflows and tools

OMAHA, Neb.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–To bridge the ‘behavior gap’ and improve investor outcomes, Orion Advisor Solutions is embedding behavioral finance into its award-winning wealthtech platform.

Orion will infuse academic research and behavioral psychology into the technology advisors use every day, including risk profiling and financial planning proposal tools. The first step of this fusion is a new 3D Risk Profile which adds depth to the risk tolerance questionnaire (RTQ) by measuring a third dimension of ‘composure’ in addition to traditional measurements of ‘tolerance’ and ‘capacity.’ The goal is to help advisors deliver stand-out service, gain more client insights, and help investors recognize the emotions and triggers that can derail long-term goals.

It’s been proven that investors make bad decisions under stress. Buying and selling at the wrong time can wreck investor returns. When the market bottomed in March 2020, 1 out 5 investors sold all of their stocks, only to miss out on one of the fastest developing and largest bull markets just a few weeks later.1 The value of behavioral coaching can make a big difference in closing the behavior gap, which measures the loss an average investor incurs as a result of emotional responses to market conditions. Studies have shown that this gap can range from 1.17% to 5.35% per annum.2

“We want advisors and investors to understand each other through every stage of the advisor-client journey. That understanding is the root of reassurance and peace of mind that drives better relationships, better outcomes, and endures growth,” said Eric Clarke, Chief Executive Officer, Orion Advisor Solutions. “Using technology to augment human compassion and insight is the new frontier of fiduciary service, and we’ve only just begun to explore the possibilities.”

New RTQ Adds Behavioral Dimension to Better Predict Investors’ Emotional Reaction to Volatility

By integrating behavioral finance into the risk tolerance questionnaire, Orion aims to fundamentally transform one of the first advisor-client interactions. The addition of a ‘composure’ measurement focuses on the psychology behind a client’s decision. The resulting 3D Risk Profile creates new opportunities for advisors to better tailor portfolios based on a clients’ true risk tolerance, ensuring alignment with asset allocation recommendations, individual goals, and their ability to stay the course.

Orion’s 3D Risk Profile tool will start with a standard questionnaire to assess an investor’s risk ‘capacity’ or their ability to take on risk based on age, level of wealth, and financial understanding. The tool will also measure ‘tolerance’ or willingness to take on more risk for greater reward. The addition of risk ‘composure’ measures a client’s tendency to be anxious about volatility and provides key insight into their expected behaviors during periods of market elation or stress. Those with a high composure score remain calm in market volatility, while those with lower levels of composure may be more easily rattled.

A more complete understanding of client behavior is a proven catalyst for growth. Since the 1980s, awareness and application of behavioral finance has grown year-over-year. In fact, 81% of advisors report using behavioral finance techniques—and, of those advisors, 62% added new clients twice as fast as those who did not use behavioral finance techniques.3 Knowing what drives human behavior is one thing; using psychology to improve client relationships and, ultimately, portfolio outcomes, is another. But it’s worth it: Based on a Vanguard survey, the emotional value that an advisor creates through behavioral coaching accounts for about 40% of the total perceived value of an advisor-client relationship.4

“As they managed through this past year, advisors found that traditional measurements were not holding up during times of economic and market stress. There’s real value in helping clients understand their own psychology when it comes to evaluating individual risk profiles and how they think about protecting and growing their money, especially in volatile markets,” said Dr. Daniel Crosby, Chief Behavioral Officer at Orion. “Being able to predict which clients will react negatively to financial uncertainty can help ensure that advisors are reaching out to their clients at the right time.”

The Benefits of a 3D Risk Profile:

  • Provides advisors with the ability to create portfolios that clients will stay with
  • Deepens advisors’ relationships with clients by educating them on the process and expectations to ensure successful investment outcomes
  • Designed by leading behavioral finance PhDs
  • Pre-identifies clients who will need more attention during market volatility
  • Defensible process for Reg BI compliance, by including 20 questions and measuring three dimensions

The 3D Risk Profile will be available for use with Orion’s financial planning tool, within HiddenLevers’ proposal capabilities, and on the Orion Portfolio Solutions platform.

To learn more about the value of behavioral finance visit, orion.com/behavioral-finance. For a preview of the tool embedded within HiddenLevers, register for our upcoming webinar, Fight or Flight: Acknowledge and Address Client Fears, on June 23 at 2 PM CT.

About Orion Advisor Solutions

Orion Advisor Solutions is the premier provider of the tech-enabled fiduciary process that transforms the advisor-client relationship by enabling financial advisors to Prospect, Plan, Invest, and Achieve within a single, connected, technology-driven experience. Combined, our brand entities, Orion Advisor Tech, Orion Portfolio Solutions, Brinker Capital Investments, and HiddenLevers, create a complete offering that empowers firms to attract new clients seamlessly; connect goals more meaningfully to investment strategies and outcomes, and ultimately track progress toward each investor’s unique definition of financial success. As a result, Orion supports more than 2,200 advisory firms with $1.5 trillion in assets under administration and an additional $50 billion of combined platform assets (Orion Portfolio Solutions and Brinker Capital) on the open architecture TAMP, making Orion the platform of choice for all growth-focused advisory firms looking to strengthen their client relationships, gain a competitive edge in a crowded marketplace, and build strong, profitable businesses. Learn more at www.orion.com.

1 https://theirrelevantinvestor.com/2020/06/18/one-out-of-five-investors-sold-all-of-their-stocks/

2 Dalbar Report “2021 Quantitative Analysis of Investor Behavior – Variable Annuities (“QAIB-VA”)

3 https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2020/09/10/how-behavioral-finance-can-help-clients-and-advisors/

4 Vanguard “The value of advice: Assessing the role of emotions.”



Company Contact:
Michele Steinmetz

[email protected]

Media Contact:
Mark Grandstaff

Gregory FCA for Orion Advisor Solutions

[email protected]

Majority of Americans Support Sustainable Investing and Are Ready to Act

New Allianz Life study indicates investors also have sustainable investing expectations for financial services and insurance companies

  • Majority (64%) of Americans hold a positive overall opinion on sustainable investing.
  • More than two-thirds (68%) of Americans believe that reallocating investments away from companies not adhering to sustainability principles (to those that do) is an effective way to punish or reward companies for their actions.
  • More than six in 10 believe that a commitment to environmental sustainability by financial services (68%) and insurance companies (64%) would make a positive difference.

MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Perhaps once considered a passing fad, sustainable investing has solidified its place at the investing table and will likely hold that position for years to come, according to a new study* released today by Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz Life). In addition, the study found Americans are now turning their attention to financial services and insurance companies with an expectation that they implement sustainable investing standards as part of their standard investing process.

Interest Remains Strong

The 2021 Allianz Life Sustainable Investing Study found that sustainable investing remains top of mind and in favor with Americans despite the ongoing volatility of the past several years. In fact, nearly two-thirds (64%) of study respondents currently hold a positive overall opinion on this type of investing. Looking beyond perception, many Americans are also interested in taking action. More than half of the survey respondents (52%) who are not currently participating expressed interest in allocating funds to sustainable investments.

For those who have already taken the plunge and are choosing sustainable investing, they appear to be committed. The study found that respondents (already investing) are putting nearly half (46%) of their total investment portfolio toward companies adhering to sustainability principles. In addition, they are not afraid to use their investments as a way to reward or punish companies for their sustainability practices – or lack thereof. More than two-thirds (68%) of Americans believe that reallocating investments away from companies not adhering to sustainability principles (to those that do) is an effective way to punish or reward companies for their actions.

Focus on Financial Services and Insurance Companies

Findings from the study also indicate an increased focus by Americans on the role that financial services companies and insurance carriers play in sustainable investing. Nearly two-thirds (64%) of respondents agreed that a financial services company can have a significant impact on environmental sustainability efforts, and that, collectively, a commitment in the financial services industry to environmental sustainability could make a positive difference (68%). They held similar beliefs about the role insurance companies can play in supporting these efforts. More than 61% indicated that an insurance company can have significant impact on environmental sustainability efforts, and that if the insurance industry committed to these efforts it would make a positive difference (64%).

“Sustainable investing leads to sustainable outcomes,” said Todd Hedtke, chief investment officer, Allianz Life. “Financial services and insurance companies are in a unique position and can play a critical role in the adoption of sustainable investing principles. Industry leaders have adopted a set of investing criteria that uses a sustainability lens for evaluating potential investments. It has a powerful domino effect toward bringing more companies in line with efforts to create a more sustainable future.”

This increased focus on the financial services and insurance industries is also leading to a new expectation. More than six in 10 Americans (63%) believe that financial services companies have a responsibility to do whatever they can to mitigate the climate crisis, and 59% felt insurance companies have the same obligation.

Interestingly, respondents also are drawing a clear line between sustainable investing and better outcomes. Sixty-two percent of Americans believe that financial services companies who embrace environmental sustainability are better positioned for long-term success, with 58% feeling the same way about insurance carriers. Diving even deeper, more than 63% said that if they were making a decision on which life insurance policy to choose, they would choose the policy from the carrier that is committed to incorporating principles of sustainability into their investment decisions.

“Sustainable investing has moved from being an aspiration to an expectation,” added Hedtke. “Financial service and insurance companies that follow sustainable investing practices are well-positioned to deliver superior long-term financial results. The firms that choose to ignore these principles will face increasing costs, rising negative sentiment among investors, and, ironically, a less than sustainable future themselves.”

With these increased expectations comes a need for greater awareness of the investing process though. Only 52% of people understand how financial services companies make decisions about how to invest their money, and fewer (38%) are aware of specific financial services companies that successfully invest their assets in environmental sustainability efforts. Fewer understand how insurance companies make investment decisions (46%), and know any insurance companies successfully investing in environmentally responsible ways (31%).

* Allianz Life conducted an online survey in April 2021 with a nationally representative sample of 1,000 respondents age 18+ with an annual household income of at least $50,000.

About Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America

Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, one of the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® and one of the Ethisphere World’s Most Ethical Companies®, has been keeping its promises since 1896 by helping Americans achieve their retirement income and protection goals with a variety of annuity and life insurance products. In 2020, Allianz Life provided additional value to its policyholders via distributions of more than $10.1 billion. As a leading provider of fixed index annuities, Allianz Life is part of Allianz SE, a global leader in the financial services industry with approximately 150,000 employees in more than 70 countries. Allianz Life is a proud sponsor of Allianz Field® in St. Paul, Minnesota, home of Major League Soccer’s Minnesota United.


For more information:
Brett Weinberg

(763) 765-7160

[email protected]