As a result of the pandemic, many began working virtually for the first time. Although some financial advisors still rely solely on phone calls with clients, others have made the switch to virtual client meetings; maintaining “face to face” communication. A recent article discussed the internal migration of Americans leaving expensive urban cities to rural lower cost of living towns. After all, why not consider a move if one is working virtually anyway?
Money is one of the most personal and important aspects of your life. While some may prefer working with a financial planner in town, others put greater value on hiring an advisor with the most talent and expertise for their situation, regardless of location. Should you consider working with a professional out of your area?
As you consider whether or not to work with someone in your area or beyond, ask yourself the following three questions:
Am I Comfortable Utilizing Technology?
Recently we had a call with a prospective new client living three hours away who said, “I don’t do that computer stuff.” How comfortable with technology should one be to work with a professional in a different location? We prefer our clients have a basic computer with a mic and camera. A good printer with a multi-page scanner is the only other item needed.
Is the technology secure?
We encourage video meetings when working with our clients. That way we feel connected by being able to see each other’s faces. However, we have a paid subscription to a service that is encrypted. Ensure your meetings are using a secure software connection when discussing personal finance.
Documents should not go through email. Instead your professional should utilize an encrypted document storage client portal to send sensitive paperwork to their clients. Likewise, clients with a scanner can upload signed forms back into their secure portal.
One of the upsides of the pandemic is many financial companies now accept DocuSign electronic applications which makes everyone’s account opening experience easier.
We provide assistance to clients that need help getting their technology up and running. But if you’re still uncomfortable with building a technology-heavy relationship with your financial advisor, working with someone local may be better.
What Services Do I Need?
Sometimes it’s complicated and beyond the expertise of a single professional. If that sounds like your situation, consider working with a Virtual Family Office (VFO). I’m a member of an elite mastermind VFO within my skillset. Yet many clients also need accountants and attorneys that are uniquely specialized. We can use the VFO to coordinate comprehensive wealth strategies between our client and other professionals throughout the country, all digitally.
Do I Need an Advisor with Certain Expertise?
Another important consideration is experience and credentials.
Being The Entrepreneur’s Financial Advisor, I focus on retirement planning for small business owners. 98% of financial advisors are an employee of a bank or brokerage firm.1 Most entrepreneurs believe it takes being one to have the experience to provide financial advice to another business owner.
GuideSpring Wealth Strategies is based out of Colorado and has been doing virtual meetings for years to clients in Colorado, Arizona, and Texas. Being technologically advanced has made this virtual switch fairly seamless.
In a world that’s gone virtual, working with an advisor simply because they are local is no longer a necessity. The important thing is to determine what you’re comfortable doing when it comes to your money and finding a financial planner who will be compatible and capable of helping you reach your goals. If you are planning on retiring somewhere tropical and would like to work with a financial advisor virtually, let's have a conversation by using the scheduling link below.