If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that the future of business will continue regardless if it’s conducted face to face or not.
One of the *few* silver linings of this year is that businesses are accelerating their virtual accessibility to the services and solutions they provide. This has never been more true than within the financial planning profession.
Here are five reasons to work with a virtual financial advisor:
1) You can find the exact advisor that fits your needs.
When you work with a virtual advisor, you’re not restricted to the ones available in your local area. This makes it much easier to find someone with who you can connect with. Whether you’re looking for a particular specialty or not, it’s crucial to find an advisor you’re comfortable speaking with and sharing confidential information. Financial planning is more therapy than technical finance, so it’s best to find someone you can trust.
2) You can get more done with more efficiency.
Advisors that work primarily virtually are way more efficient because they have to be. Whether it’s e-signing documents, managing investments, or using the latest in financial planning technology, virtual advisors tend to have superior processes compared to traditional brick and mortar advisers.
3) Virtual Advisors tend to charge lower fees.
Because virtual advisors don’t need to pay for a big fancy office, they can pass on those savings to their clients. It should go without saying at this point, but make sure you understand how your advisor is compensated. Virtual advisors tend to be fee-only (meaning they don’t sell commissioned products), and their service packages provide tremendous value.
4) Virtual Advisors tend to provide unlimited access to clients.
Virtual advisors structure their calendars to be available based on their schedules. Meaning it’s simple to schedule time with your advisor when you need it beyond your regularly scheduled emails. Whether, it’s just a call or text, or an impromptu virtual meeting.
5) A Virtual Advisor can be your lifelong trusted guide.
Are you self-employed or a small business owner looking to reduce taxes and invest in your financial future? In this podcast episode, I break down the different types of investment accounts you should be thinking about establishing. The primary accounts discussed are the SEP-IRA, Solo 401(k), and Traditional 401(k). Depending on if you have employees (and how many) is a significant factor when deciding which account to use. The SEP-IRA is the easiest and most cost-effective (from an administrative standpoint) to establish. However, if you have more than a few employees, the matching requirement can quickly become expensive. In which case, considering the 401(k) could make more sense. The great thing abot the current small business 401(k) landscape is that there are more low-cost third-party solutions than ever before. If you’re not currently deferring taxes and investing for your financial success outside of your self-employment or business, you’ll want to give this episode a listen! Click the links below to access your desired platform to listen! The full DO MORE WITH YOUR MONEY podcast episode is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and YouTube.
Recently, I was mentioned in an article from Financial-Planning.com about the conflicts the financial advisory industry faces.
The full article can be found here: A conflicted question: What is fiduciary advice? I wanted to provide my perspective on it since it can be a complicated topic to understand. If you are working with a financial advisor (or plan to do so), it’s crucial to know how they are compensated. Let me preface myself – how someone is paid does NOT necessarily mean they are more (or less) qualified to provide technically sound financial advice.
However, I do believe it’s essential to work with someone that transparently charges fees. As Charlie Munger once said, “show me the incentives, and I will show you the outcome.” If someone’s compensation is based on the sale of a financial product, what is the most likely outcome? They’re more likely to recommend that product. This may (or may not) be suitable for you ‘the client’ but is it REALLY in your best interest? What even does “in your best interest mean”? It means that the financial product, insurance product, investment, or overall recommendation is the best thing for you, given your unique circumstances (not just because it pays the highest commission). The proposal SHOULD factor in a variety of factors unique to you. Great financial advice rarely meets a “one size fits all” strategy or product. This is where the concept of ‘fiduciary advice’ comes into play. Fiduciary advice means the financial advisor (financial planner, etc.) is legally required to provide advice in your best interest. If they don’t provide advice in your best interest (and it can be proven), they can be held liable for adverse outcomes.
Here are some great resources for finding financial advisors that are required to provide fiduciary advice (and transparently charge fees):
Financial planning is a relatively new profession that can take on a variety of meanings.
The term “financial planning” is also often abused by corporations as a means to sell expensive financial products.
In this podcast episode, I discuss what financial planning means to me, and ultimately, what the end goal is.
Financial planning is advice-centric, meaning it’s about providing recommendations unique to your situation and long term goals.
Financial planning is the use of technical knowledge to maximize your financial resources to create the life you want.
Creating the life you want could mean:
* Buying back your time
* Taking care of the people you care about
* Material Items (Cars, Houses, etc.)
* Leaving a legacy
Since we don’t know what the future holds, financial planning is about putting you in a position to accomplish your goals regardless of future market returns, tax rates, economic environments, and things we have zero control over.
By making strategic decisions and keeping realistic assumptions, we can put the odds of success in our favor!
Click the links below to access your desired platform to listen!
Are you considering refinancing a mortgage given the current interest rate environment?
In this video, I break down some considerations when looking at a refinance, including a unique case study as an example.
The most significant factors when looking at refinancing are:
1. The expected interest rate and term
2. Any closing costs incurred
3. The equity in your home
In this unique case study, I discuss how refinancing with a third party lender might not make sense if you’d be forced to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI).
In general, when considering if a refinance makes sense, you have to look at the breakpoint to recoup any costs incurred to get the lower interest rate.
It might be a no-brainer! However, if you’re not planning on being in the home for the foreseeable future, it might not make sense financially!
These are conversations I have with clients daily — financial planning is much more than just choosing investments!