With the onset of the pandemic, organizations have had to change the way they operate, from working remotely to conducting meetings on a video call. Companies such as Facebook and Microsoft have also given their employees the option to continue working from home on a permanent basis. It’s apparent that the new normal is here to stay.
We live in a virtual world where we can communicate over virtual calls from the comfort of our home or office without having to step out for a meeting. We can do a quick call while on our way home or in between taking care of household activities or personal errands.
Virtual meetings have also come as an advantage when it comes to organizing one’s finances. Rather than scheduling in-person meetings with your financial advisor and having to drive to them, you can now conduct your meeting virtually. Whether you have a quick 15-minute conversation or an hour-long call, virtual meetings are effective and help ensure you can make time in your busy schedule to go over your investments.
Do keep these points in mind when you connect with your financial advisor virtually:
- Set up your workspace for your virtual meeting with your financial advisor
- Fix a time for your virtual meeting
- Plan your discussion with your financial advisor in advance
- Choose a vetted and trustworthy financial advisor that suits your financial needs
Virtual meetings can be awkward at first. But with a little practice and experience, you can get accustomed to them. If you’re not well-versed with technology, ask your friend, co-worker, or family member to set up your meeting for you. You can do your virtual meetings easily on your laptop or smartphone. Do take time to conduct a mock meeting with your friend/colleague before you speak with your advisor. This will help you do away with any nervous jitters that you may experience while facing the webcam. If video calls make you uncomfortable, you can do the meeting on an audio call. Stick to what you’re comfortable with and with time, you can review if you want to try out new things. No pressure!
Fixing a time when you connect with your financial advisor is important so that both you and him can block a particular time and day once a week, fortnight, or month for your virtual meeting. Ensure that you’re punctual and present for these meetings at the stipulated time. These meetings are essential for your future growth and financial success. Thus, do take care to attend each one of these meetings taking care to be mentally and physically present. After all, these meetings are for your financial independence.
Before starting your virtual meeting with your financial advisor, it would serve you well to go into the meeting with a plan in place. This way you can cover all the points you want to discuss and will not miss out on any concerns that you may be having. Make a list beforehand and go over each item one by one making sure you don’t miss out on anything. By following this advice, you will ensure that your meetings are more structured and that you don’t waste time discussing things that don’t benefit you.
It can be a bit tricky to assess the trustworthiness of a financial advisor over the Internet without having met them first. One way you can overcome this dilemma is by checking their credentials to judge their credibility. It is recommended that you go for a financial advisor who is a fiduciary. In addition, you may choose professionals who have the following certifications:
- Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
- Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
- Chartered Investment Counselor (CIC)
- Financial Risk Manager (FRM)
- Personal Financial Specialist (PFS), etc.
These certifications are an important metric to evaluate the credibility of the financial advisor in assisting or guiding you on your financial matters. You can also go through customer feedback to assess the financial professional’s aptitude. Do keep in mind to hire an advisor from a trusted website. As long as you take precautions, and pick a vetted, experienced advisor, you can rest easy and don’t have to worry about your information being misused or your safety and privacy being violated.
The biggest upside of virtual meetings is that you can have them anywhere - at home, on the subway, at the park while your kids play, during lunch, etc. But this can also be a drawback as you’re more likely to be distracted. Virtual meetings enable one to to judiciously use their time and convert their idle time into something productive. To avoid distractions, it may be advisable to pick a location where you’re less likely to be distrubed when you decide to have a virtual meeting with your financial advisor. Be alert during the meeting and take care to reduce the background noise. Ensure that there’s adequate lighting and good Internet connectivity so that lags are kept to a minimum during the meeting. Even if you’re disturbed during the meeting, try to stay focused and tend to the matter once you complete the meeting.
Do remember that the meeting is still a professional one, so dress the part. Dressing formally for your virtual meeting presents a professional image to the financial advisor and conveys that you mean business. The advisor is more likely to handle your affairs with interest and determination. Ensure to maintain a professional and cordial relationship with your advisor as it’ll serve you better in the long term.
If you plan on discussing any figures or statistics during the meeting, keep them ready with you before you sit down for the meeting. Also, prepare any questions you may have beforehand that you may want to discuss. Keep soft copies of any documents ready with you so that you can send them to your advisor (if they need them) promptly without wasting any time. This will ensure that you’re both on the same page and can take swift action if needed. Moreover, try to conduct your virtual meeting over the computer or laptop as you can send or receive emails, important data, documents, etc. easily without facing any hassles that you may come across on your phone. You can browse multiple tabs on the computer and look at data as you discuss your next course of action, something that is difficult to do on a smartphone.
Virtual meetings may or may not be your cup of tea, but they are here to stay. Many financial professionals are operating remotely as it gives them the opportunity to work flexibly. They don’t have to make a foray outside for a meeting and can meet several clients from the comfort of their home. By embracing this change, you can make the most of your day and meet with your financial advisor at a time and day convenient to you.
Virtual meetings can be as rewarding as in-person meetings, so long as you treat both in the same manner. Do your homework before the meeting and be prepared and focused. Fix a schedule to communicate with your advisor at your convenience. Be upfront about your future goals, risk capacity, limitations, income, budget, financial vices, and more so that the advisor can design a plan that matches your needs. The better the financial advisor knows you, the better they can be of assistance to you.
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