Remote Financial Advisor
My role as an hourly financial adviser has evolved over more than a dozen years of practice. I find myself doing more and more remote sessions with clients and prospective clients. Is it the younger generation that has grown up with computers and the internet and feel it’s just part of their lives and normal to communicate remotely? Or is it that most people these days that are more comfortable with internet Video/Audio interaction, which has become easier and mostly free of additional cost?
My statistics are these: Half of our meetings in developing a comprehensive financial plan are now remote. Our six-month follow up meetings are almost all remote. Once a month my fellow colleague Anna and I answer questions live and recorded (Live w/Jim & Anna) and we are almost always remote from each other.
In addition, two-thirds of our subsequent year’s semi-annual meetings are now remote. What are clients saying? “It’s no big deal”. Don’t get me wrong, there are still some holdouts. They are definitely in the minority though.
That got me to thinking about making a list of the positives and negatives of working with people remotely to help them make good, sensible financial decisions and help them achieve their financial and other life goals.
Here’s what I’ve compiled to date:
Advantages of Working with A Remote Financial Adviser
- Save driving/commuting back and forth through traffic for appointments
- Avoid arriving early or late to appointments — twiddle thumbs or apologize
- We can look at each other’s computer screen and show documents, charts, spreadsheets, websites, etc. in real time
- Both Adviser and client can be in different geographic locations, including different countries
- We both can be more flexible in booking appointments
- Client can be placed inside our financial planning software via the link to the Adviser desktop to demonstrate answers to “What If” questions in real time
Disadvantages of Working with A Remote Financial Adviser
- Broadband connection may not be strong enough, or wavers during session
- Can’t shake hands upon entry or departure
- Can’t pass paper documents back and forth to each other
- Might be annoying background noise if at a public Wi-Fi location
So that’s my list. Additions, subtractions, comments? Put them here.