How to Work with a Remote Financial Advisor
Updated: May 9, 2022
Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, more than a few advisory professions have been taking their work to the virtual realm. Financial advisors are no exception, as you may now find a fair number offering virtual advisory services.
If it’s your first time to work with a financial advisor remotely, though, you may wonder how to make the most of it. Can you still expect personalised attention? Interaction?
Today, we’ll address most of the concerns people have about working with financial advisors virtually. We’ll do this by talking about how best to work with a remote financial advisor.
Consider Your Needs When Picking Communication Channels
Remote financial advisors, like many other remote workers, are fairly flexible when it comes to communication channels. They will generally allow you to request what communication channel to use when you interact with them.
Use this flexibility to your advantage. Make sure that you consider the subject of your communications when picking a communication method.
You see, certain topics are better discussed over certain types of communication channels than others. For instance, it wouldn’t make much sense to ask your advisor to explain a complex financial strategy over text message, would it?
That’s why it’s wise to ensure that the communication channel you’re using suits the situation. Don’t choose a channel that will restrict your exchange of information if you need a lot of consultation.
And of course, don’t be afraid to supplement one channel with another. It’s perfectly fine to request a video call with your advisor and then ask for some data relevant to your conversation via email afterwards.
Break up Sessions if Necessary
When most advisors were still meeting clients physically, there was an obligation for both sides to cover just about all they could cover in a single long advisory session.
That’s understandable given how much effort typically had to be put into executing such meetings. Advisors and clients had to work it into their schedules, travel to the set location, and so on.
But given the current flexibility of most working schedules as well as the obvious fact that travel is no longer necessary for such meetings, it’s now possible to arrange sessions more easily.
Take advantage of that. If you think you can’t handle the mental fatigue of a financial advisory session where you stuff everything that has to be covered into a 2-hour block, ask your advisor to break it up into 2 or so meetings instead.
That can help you concentrate and digest your advisor’s notes better, as well as result in less stress for the two of you.
Prep Before Meeting Your Advisor
This is actually something both you and your advisor should do whether you’re meeting virtually or not. Preparing for your consultation sessions helps keep the session focused and thus, productive.
You should begin by making a list of all your financial concerns. Separate them into goals for the meeting and questions to ask your financial advisor.
You can also ask your advisor to help by requesting information ahead of time, such as figures or sheets that you want to review before you go into the meeting.
It would be a good idea to also send your advisor the list of goals and questions that we mentioned earlier, by the way. It would certainly help both of you be more in sync once you begin the session.
And of course, don’t forget to prep your space either, particularly if you’re planning to cover a lot of ground in your session. You may need your computer ready, for instance, as well as a note-taking application or a calculator.
Ask Your Advisor to Help You Work Out Timelines
This is an important task when working with a remote advisor because the very flexibility of such services can make you a little more prone to delay than otherwise.
Obviously, this can be an issue if there are time-sensitive financial decisions to be made. What if you miss the opportunity to make an urgent decision on trading stock or upgrading insurance before rates go up?
Whenever you have a session with your advisor, ask him to help you set timelines for your financial objectives. You can even calendar meetings for each objective with your advisor, to make sure you don’t miss your “deadlines”.
Don’t Be Afraid to Switch Advisors
This is more along the lines of something to do if your advisor refuses to work with you by cooperating with his part in the steps above.
If your advisor declines your requests for specific communication channels without explanation, for instance, you may want to look elsewhere.
The idea behind remote financial advisory isn’t just to physically distance people during a pandemic. It’s also largely about making financial consultations more convenient and accessible to people.
That’s why a non-accommodating financial advisor isn’t the right choice for this new paradigm.
In any case, part of the beauty of remote financial advisory services is that you can now access advisors even from areas fairly distant from yours. That’s why you shouldn’t worry about running out of options.
For instance, you can go right ahead and reach out to us to learn more about how remote financial advisory tends to work. At Financial Fortress, we can connect you to actual financial advisors who can talk to you about that as well as your actual financial needs.
Written in collaboration with our financial advisory partners at Virtus Associates.