How to Virtually Connect with Your Financial Advisor
Recent times have brought about a need to do things virtually. Right from working from home to conducting business meetings on a video call, things have substantially changed since the pandemic. While the virtual world may have come out as a dominant space due to recent events, its importance and need have always been omnipresent. Virtual meetings can help ease many things. You can communicate over virtual calls from the comfort of your home or office or hop on a quick call with a client on your way back home from work or during your children’s nap time in the afternoon. You do not have to necessarily step out and can get work done in the small bouts of time you get through the day.
Virtual meetings have brought in significant ease and convenience for organizing your finances too. Instead of scheduling in-person meetings with your financial advisor you can hop on a call and plan your investments. Whether it is an hour long meeting or a 15 minute short chat, virtual meetings can be as effective and ensure that your goals are never interrupted by your busy schedule.
Here are some points to keep in mind while virtually connecting with your financial advisor:
- Prepare yourself for your virtual meeting with your financial advisor:
- Fix a time to virtually connect:
- Plan for your virtual meeting with your financial advisor in advance:
- Choose a reputed and trustworthy financial advisor:
If you are not used to connecting with your financial advisor virtually, the first few meetings may be a bit uncomfortable for you. However, there is no need to panic or get bogged down. Remember that every new change can be hard to get accustomed to initially. But with time, things can get back to routine and seem less intimidating. If you are not well acquainted with technology, you can ask a friend, co-worker, or family member to help you with things. Virtual meetings are very easy to organize and can be done on a smartphone or computer. Make sure to practice with a friend or colleague before you talk to your financial advisor. This will make you comfortable in front of the webcam. If you are not comfortable with video calls, you can stick to an audio call too. There is no pressure involved and in today’s day and age, you can decide the level of comfort and exposure you want with technology.
The most important thing to note while connecting with your financial advisor is to fix a time. Whether you talk to your advisor once a week, once a month, or at another frequency is up to you. But make sure to fix a time and date in advance and be punctual and present for these meetings. It may seem easier to cancel at the last moment when you have scheduled a virtual call. The guilt is low as you know that both parties are connecting from their homes and do not have to undergo the hassles of going out of their personal spaces to meet. But keep in mind that these meetings are important to ensure your future growth and financial independence. Hence, you must attend every single one of them and be fully present, mentally and physically, to make the most of it.
It helps you to have a plan in place before you start your meeting. This ensures that all points are covered and you do not leave something out. For instance, if your concerns are overflowing debt, low returns, and a pressing financial need, you can divide all of these concerns evenly throughout the meeting. Make sure to take them up one by one and allot a suitable time frame to discuss each with your financial advisor. Making a list beforehand will guarantee that all your concerns are answered by the professional and nothing is missed out. It will also ensure that your meetings are more structured and no time is wasted in discussing unimportant things that may or may not benefit you. Not having a list can lead to a futile meeting. Hence, keep enough time to discuss all concerns and to find a resolution for them.
If you are hiring a new financial advisor, it can be hard to gauge their trustworthiness over the internet without having met them. However, you can always look at their credentials to ascertain their credibility. Look for a financial advisor with a fiduciary duty. Likewise, check if the professional has certifications like
- Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
- Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
- Chartered Investment Counselor (CIC)
- Financial Risk Manager (FRM)
- Personal Financial Specialist (PFS), etc.
These certifications ensure that the professional has the relevant educational qualifications to assist or guide you on your financial matters. Similarly, you can check online feedback and customer reviews to gauge the aptitude of the professional. Remember also to only hire a financial advisor from a trusted website. As long as you are engaging with a verified and certified professional, you have little to worry about your information being misused or your safety and privacy being violated.
While the biggest advantage of virtual meetings is that you can have them from home, at lunch between work commitments, on the subway, or while your kids play in the park, the downside is that you could be easily distracted. Virtual meetings make it possible to utilize every idle hour of the day and put it to productive use but it can sometimes be hard to focus on the subject when you have other things happening around you. Family members or co-workers can add to the background noise, and divert your attention from the topic of discussion. Hence, it may be advised to isolate yourself while on a virtual meeting with your financial advisor. Keep in mind that your financial advisor is an essential part of your journey to complete financial freedom. Hence, you must concentrate on your meeting and not worry about your surroundings. Make sure to pick a corner or room where there would be no disturbances from outside. Make sure the lighting and network connectivity are good, so there are no lags or miscommunication during the meeting. Even if there is a distraction during the meeting, try to stay focused and tend to the matter after your meeting is over.
While you may be connecting with your advisor virtually while sitting on your bed, you must remember that the meeting still remains a professional one. Hence, you must look the part and act appropriately. It helps to dress accordingly and be professional in your meetings. This presents a serious image to the financial advisor and they are likely to handle your affairs with more interest, grit, and determination. First impressions are essential and can be made with a little bit of effort on your appearance. Be mindful of the fact that your financial advisor will be dealing with your money and can impact the fate of your future finances. Hence, the more professional and cordial your relationship is with them, the more you can benefit in the long term.
If your agenda for the meeting is to discuss any figures or statistics, make sure to have the data with you before you start the meeting. It also helps to go through the data beforehand and keep your questions or suggestions prepared before the meeting starts to avoid wasting time later. Have the relevant papers in front of you in soft copies too. So, you can send them over to your financial advisor if they need them. This will ensure things happen promptly and you and your financial advisor react to them swiftly. It also helps to use the computer or laptop instead of your smartphone as you can send or receive emails, important data, documents, etc. more smoothly and without any hassles than on your phone. You can open multiple windows on the computer and look at data as you discuss your next course of action, something that is hard to do on a smartphone.
You may or may not like the transition to virtual meetings, but they are certainly the future of the world. Many professional financial planners and advisors are now operating remotely as it gives them more convenience and time. Therefore, getting on board this change can help you in the long term. Try to embrace the change instead of challenging it and find a like-minded financial advisor who can deliver well virtually.
To sum it up
A virtual meeting with a financial advisor can be as productive as it is in person, as long as you treat it the same way. Be prepared, focused, and present to fully grasp each concept. Find the time to communicate with your advisor as often as you see fit. Be open about your future objectives, goals, risk capacity, limitations, income, budget, financial vices, and more. The better the financial advisor knows you, the better they can assist you.
You can use our free tool to connect with upto 3 vetted professional financial advisors to find the best advisor that matches your needs.