Today, we'll discuss working with a virtual financial advisor and how to get the most value from your relationship. Specifically, we're going to address the big issue with not being able to see your advisor in person and how to develop a sense of trust that you want and deserve to have. We'll also share the unique and surprising benefits of a remote relationship including the one thing most business owners don’t consider until it’s too late.
Here’s why you should care about this: If you‘re a business owner and haven’t considered working with a virtual financial advisor, then you may be missing out on a specialist who can help you avoid big mistakes and build wealth faster. That could end up being the difference between mediocre wealth potential and confidence that you have more than enough ideas to minimize taxes and invest wisely. To give you some background, about 50% of my current clients reside outside of the state where I live, and I have never met about one-third of my client families in person. We still have a remarkably deep relationship, and our financial and investment planning conversations are highly productive. We'll use the term Financial Advisor, but for our purposes here, that could also refer to a professional Financial Planner or Private Wealth Advisor.
Building Trust to Work with a Virtual Financial Advisor as a Business Owner
As a business owner, you need to make fast decisions based on extreme levels of trust in people and processes. To quickly build that “bridge of trust” with a Financial Advisor even if you never or rarely meet in person, your default first step might be to ask your CPA, attorney, or fellow business owners for a recommendation. But don’t stop there. Go beyond getting a name or two and starting up a relationship.
Vet those advisors in the following three ways:
- Read the Reviews: Search for reviews on the advisor and firm you’re looking at. Do many of the client reviews describe situations similar to yours? Do they seem pleased with the unique solutions the firm provides that might apply to your situation?
- Follow the Niche: If you need heart surgery, wouldn’t you want a heart surgeon to do the procedure? You would never want a neuro-surgeon or a general pediatrician to start operating on your heart. You wouldn’t even want your general practitioner. Instead, you’d seek out the best cardiothoracic surgeon available. In the same way, because you’re a business owner with vastly different situations than a W2 employee, be sure your advisor’s focus is dealing with the unique and complex issues that business owners face.
- Gut Check the Process: Check if the onboarding steps of the firm clearly solve the areas of business owner planning where you need more guidance. If that seems on point, then look at the ongoing planning framework to make sure it isn’t too limited or regimented. As a business owner, you need the flexibility to get advice without waiting until your next semi-annual or annual “review.” Instead, your advisor should have a mechanism to sync up with you at crucial moments to help you make better decisions.
Benefits of Working With a Virtual Financial Advisor for Private Wealth Management
Now, consider some of the benefits of working exclusively or primarily remotely with a virtual financial advisor for private wealth management.
- You’ll spend less time on the road driving to an office
- It will be easier to schedule key strategy meetings with your advisor by not having to work around locations & packed schedules
- You can be location independent, whether that’s for travel or moving across town or even across the country
- Meetings can be more efficient because, for example, you don’t feel the need to turn a 15 or 30 or 45-minute strategy conversation into an hour and a half or a two hour meeting to make your drive worth it
- Most importantly, you are not limited to working with an unspecialized “general practitioner” financial advisor where their primary differentiator is that they have an office nearby. Instead, you can work with a specialist for business owners that has a process to serve your individual needs with precision
If you’re a business owner and need key advice on tax strategy, investment management, or other areas of financial planning, we’d love to help. Click over to our website right now and schedule a 15 minute call to see if it makes sense to get started.
For important disclosure information, please visit RidgelinePrivateWealth.com/routine-disclosures