What Does it Mean to be a Virtual Financial Advisor?
A virtual financial advisor is someone who has either very limited or no face-to-face meetings with prospects and clients. Rather, the advisor utilizes video conferencing platforms and robust financial technology in their meetings with prospects and clients.
It does not necessarily mean that the advisor does not have a physical office. Virtual Financial Advisors can have their own physical office space or utilize virtual workspaces such as WeWork.
Less commuting and face-to-face meetings also mean fewer carbon emissions and paper waste. Virtual financial advisors help save you time, money and even help save the environment.
Does Working With a Virtual Financial Advisor Save You Time?
Picture this…It’s 5:30 pm and you just got off of work. You and your spouse have a 6 pm meeting scheduled at your financial advisor’s office 15 miles away. You got stuck in a meeting that ran 10 minutes over.
You’re stuck in traffic, frantically trying to call your spouse because you are running 15 minutes late. The sweat builds up around your collar as you try to navigate through traffic to get there on time. You finally get there to find your spouse waiting patiently in the reception area.
You join her in the lobby, but you don’t really want to be there. All you really want is to be home in comfortable clothes spending some meaningful time with your family.
With a more personalized “Netflix-type” approach, meeting with a virtual advisor is a much more seamless process. They can share your financial plan and other online portals to better explain financial strategies and concepts to you through virtual conferencing software. You can also share your screen if you need help logging into your 401k portal or have a question about a financial document. And of course, you will save time by cutting down on commuting and sitting in traffic.
Does Working Virtually Save You Money?
The fees that financial advisors charge should be commensurate with the services provided. Does your advisor only provide investment management? Or do you work with a comprehensive fee-only financial planner that also provides comprehensive financial planning advice? As an example, a prospective retiree will need advice above and beyond investments because retirement planning is complicated. They have other problems they need solutions to:
- What age can I retire?
- How much can we spend monthly without outliving our assets?
- What’s the best Social Security Strategy?
- How do unforseen health events impact our plan?
- What’s the best investment strategy for us?
- How do we reduce taxes in retirement?
So the level of service and value provided is different amongst financial advisors. It’s important to understand your biggest needs to ensure you get the right answers to your questions. And that’s where a virtual financial advisor can really add a ton of value.
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