Location, location, location. It’s the #1 consideration in real estate, but what about when you’re choosing a financial advisor? Can the answer to “Where are you located?” be a deal breaker? It depends on your personal preference. But know that technology now gives you the option to expand beyond local geography in your search for a competent advisor. More choices improve the potential for connecting with someone who suits your needs and style. A significant number of FJY Financial clients have cultivated a productive long-distance relationship with their advisor. Based on that direct experience, we offer pointers on how to make a long-distance relationship work for you:
1. A trusted connection is your first priority.
Whether you go with someone near or far, trust is the most important requirement for a financial advisor. Do you feel comfortable with and have confidence that this person is looking out for your best interests? Does the advisor “get” you? Lest you think that’s impossible in the high-tech universe, check out a recent study from the University of Maryland and Towson University. Researchers found that trust can be built online through delivering on promises, empathizing with another person’s situation, and giving supportive responses.
Interesting how well that describes the ideal financial advisor, no? Researchers also noted that use of video and audio can help cement online trust. FJY advisors have developed expertise in how to use the latest technology to establish close working relationships with all of our long–distance clients. In recent years, we have even seen a trend among our local Northern Virginia clients to meet by video and avoid the area’s legendary traffic!
2. Accessibility is a must.
Whether your money guru is in or out of town, you should have easy access to your account information 24/7 and a secure means to share sensitive documents with your advisor. FJY uses a robust online portal so clients can access all account information on demand. Our secure document vault allows us to easily and safely pass confidential information back and forth.
3. Good communication keeps the connection strong.
At no point should your distance from your advisor make you feel shut out of your own financial management process. You should “meet” with your advisor (video, phone, and/or email) at agreed-upon intervals that are appropriate for your circumstances. You should also expect and receive prompt attention when your situation changes, an urgent matter arises, or you simply need to chat with your advisor. If you’re OK with technology but prefer that you occasionally meet in person, ask how these visits may fit in a fee plan.
Do you or your advisor ever end up in the same city for work or personal travel? If so, you can schedule a meeting to coincide with your trips. In addition to personal communication with our out of state clients, FJY Financial also regularly updates our blog, Facebook, and LinkedIn pages to keep you up to date with the latest ideas in personal or small business finance.
WORKING LONG DISTANCE WITH FJY
The bottom line is that your own needs and preferences should drive a thorough search for a financial advisor. Distance should not sway you from working with someone if all other signs point towards a great relationship. FJY Financial has offices in Reston, Virginia and Midland, Texas. While a majority of our clients do live in those states, we serve clients across 24 states and the District of Colombia.
If you or your loved ones have previously considered FJY but hesitated because of distance, please reach out to discover how leading-edge technology, expertise, and premium service enhance the client experience no matter your location.