While times change, the need for quality financial guidance doesn’t. Many financial advisors do things old-school. Nevertheless, with everything happening right now, that might well be changing.
It may not be the most exciting topic around, but working with a virtual financial advisor can be beneficial in many ways.
You don’t have to take time out of your busy schedule to go to an office location. Nor do you have to worry about the logistics of what it would take to make that appointment.
You don’t even have to be in the same city as where your financial professional resides. Virtual advisors use communication methods such as videoconferencing, email, the internet, and (for some) even texting to stay in contact with their clients.
If you aren’t working with a virtual financial professional yet, here’s a look at how it can be beneficial in the short and long run.
1. You Save Time
Most people are very busy, especially if they are in executive roles, are advanced in their careers, or own a business.
You don’t have to drive to the advisor’s office. Nor do you have to wait in traffic.
You can meet at the time most convenient for you and very easily coordinate as well as pull off the actual meeting. It can be on your lunch break, during a lull in working hours, or at a convenient time from home.
Ease of communication is another tangible benefit. You can contact your advisor via smartphone, tablet, or laptop, whichever one you use.
2. Have More Flexibility and Control
Family, career, community, and personal affairs are all matters that we have to juggle. For many people, these daily responsibilities are a major time commitment.
Meeting with a virtual financial planner reduces another meeting that we have to schedule and physically drive to. By having your appointments, review meetings, and check-ins with a virtual financial advisor, you can keep all of this in better balance.
In turn, that frees you up for the one asset that none of us can get back: time. And this extra time that you gain could be used to either work more hours or finish some project you have at home.
3. Save Money
There can be a lot of cost-saving benefits to having a virtual advisor relationship. No gas costs. Fewer other costs of transportation to an office.
No having to make arrangements for someone to watch family while you go to your advisor meeting. Your virtual advisor might cost less in their business services than others for this reason.
In lots of ways you are saving money. In turn, this helps further fuel your wealth-building, albeit on a smaller scale.
4. Have More Peace of Mind Over Health Concerns
This is a more evident benefit in times like now, the age of the novel coronavirus. Due to your remote connection, you can be mindful of your health and well-being.
It’s also being mindful of the health of your virtual advisor, your family, and your community.
5. More Environmentally Friendly
Virtual advisory relationships help cut down on the advisor’s office overhead. Less transportation for both the advisor and you, the client, means fewer carbon emissions.
Of course, this only reduces a small footprint, but it still helps with the overall impact.
Digitally-based plans and strategies also reduce hard-copy paperwork. This is when many professional services firms are already overrun with them.
6. Easier for You to Monitor Remotely
You may be able to reach your advisor during off-duty hours via email or text if you need to. Virtual advisors often don’t keep regular office hours and can be available during evening hours when their clients aren’t at work.
In turbulent financial times, retirement investors aren’t interested in having just an annual meeting with their advisor. They want a continuous dialogue to stay in touch with what is going on with their money.
Depending on the kind of financial professional you are working with, chances are you can monitor digitally how your money is doing, too.
If your virtual advisor is working with you on portfolio management, you can see how your investments are doing. Instead of having to wait for your monthly statement, you can log on to the advisor’s website any time day or night to see exactly what is going on.
You can also transfer, deposit, and withdraw funds in most cases without having to write a check or go to your local bank.
7. More Range of Choices
People who live in cities with a high cost of living can find it difficult to locate a financial professional that is just right for them.
For some, it might be for an advisor that they feel confident in the value they are receiving in exchange for their paid fees. For others, it might be a question of finding someone who will accept their portfolio size.
Still, others might not be impressed with the range of options where they live. But that needn’t be an issue.
Clients who live in high-cost cities such as San Francisco or New York City can now find an advisor in Kansas City or Des Moines. These advisors may have lower fee schedules and bring more ‘bang for the buck’ than other advisors in the client’s hometown.
Thanks to virtual relationships, people can also “shop around” for financial professionals whose specialty and focus fits their needs.
You worked for many years to reach this point. You should be comfortable with the financial professional to whom you entrust your money.
8. Ease of Search and Hiring
The Internet does wonders for making the search for an advisor much easier. But finding the right financial professional for you may be a bit more difficult.
You need to choose someone who truly has your best interests at heart and is properly licensed and qualified.
Say you are looking for an experienced agent offering fixed-annuity contracts and life insurance to bolster guarantees in your retirement.
Here at SafeMoney.com, we have many insurance-licensed agents (and financial advisors) whom you can reach out to. Your state insurance department website can confirm the insurance licenses they hold.
You can also request information from the department on that agent’s record of conduct. For example, do they have any complaints filed against them? This record will help answer those questions.
What if you are looking for an advisor who can build strategies with investments and insurance? You will want to be sure that your advisor is properly licensed and has a good record.
Other websites may have the advisor on them if they have other industry designations as well, such as the RICP designation. The SEC also has a website dedicated to Registered Investment Advisors.
Once you accumulate a list of advisors that you would like to interview based on their qualifications, what is next? Talk to them in a videoconference to see which one you like best.
Don’t be afraid to be picky. After all, your financial future is at stake.
Financial Guidance a Click Away
If you are looking for a financial professional to help guide you, many independent advisors and agents are available on SafeMoney.com. You can start your search by checking out listed financial professionals in your state and reaching out for an initial discussion.
Please feel free to use our “Find a Financial Professional” section to see who is available and connect with someone. If you need a personal referral, call us at 877.476.9723.
No matter what, we wish you the best in your financial goals and a secure financial future!