Virtual Financial Planning
Blogged by: Juan Munoz CFP®, AIF®, CRC®, AAMS®
Benjamin Franklin invented so many things like the lightning rod, bifocals, the Franklin stove among many others but he also gave this advice to a young tradesman (1748): “Remember that time is money.”
Before moving to Houston in 2008, I used to drive five to ten minutes to get to work and it was amazing. Now a days, it takes at least one hour to get anywhere in Houston and sometimes, if you are lucky, it may take you two hours instead.
As I continue to optimize my financial planning service delivery, I have been encountering more tools that allow for me to make my client’s life easier from virtual meetings, scheduling systems, state of the art news and social media delivery systems. Of course, not all technology is for everybody, the essentials are still important like meetings in person, phone calls and using the US mail system.
It was interesting to hear how some financial planners would be thousands of miles away and still be able to connect and service their clients. My curiosity has allowed me to learn and adopt some of these amazing technology developments to become more of a virtual financial planner or “location independent.”
So how does working virtually with a client look like?
Working with an independent location financial planner allows you to have a few more options of people you can work with and you still can get to see and hear each other virtually with the help of conference technology. Here are some samples:
- Early this year I worked with a prospect from Alaska on their real estate goals and how best to invest the profits from a property sale. Leveraging technology, we manage to do a full comprehensive financial plan to ensure all his goals were taken in consideration before making any decisions. You should expect to get the same service from a virtual planner as if you were meeting in person with a financial planner.
- Last year I got to work with a client living in London that needed to do a ROTH IRA conversion and was not expecting to travel to the US anytime soon. Utilizing conferencing tools, communication apps and electronic signature software we manage to get every done quickly just in time to meet the April 15 tax deadline.
What are some of the limitations of working with someone virtually?
There are almost none or very few limitations working with someone from another part of the country. As a financial planner, you just must be able to work in that state and follow the rules (regulation, tax, etc.)
What are some advantages of working virtually with a financial planner?
I think the opening quote of Benjamin Franklin sum up the biggest benefit but imagine not having to drive across town to meet with your financial planner. How about taking a virtual meeting from the comfort of your own home so you do not have to ask someone to babysit your kids.
How does financial planning work virtually?
Highly recommend for you to look at my first blog To Be a Financial Planner.
Financial planning software has evolved as well, and it is becoming more and more digital with even more tools. Some software companies allow collaboration with your clients where both can work together using the same program. Most software offers great internet security with two-step identification as well so all your information can be protected.
Next time you are looking for the next financial planner you may want to consider looking outside of your city since there are even more options and services available as technology continues to connect us all better. The goal is to make your life easy, contact us if you are ready to start planning for your financial future.
Technology I used:
- Virtual conference calling
- Education webinars
- Financial plan with aggregation with capabilities of automatic budgeting and net worth statement up to date.
- Virtual tax return
- Digital vault to secure personal documents (will, estate planning, etc.)
- Online scheduling and conference call
- Interactive virtual survey
- Client portals on website for easy access
- Weekly news and education articles