As a Financial Advisor, Can You Work with People Who Don't Live Locally?
Many people don’t realize, as a financial advisor, I work with many people who aren’t living locally, and even some who live outside of Illinois. Within certain guidelines, we usually can accept and serve remote clients, whether they are clients who have relocated or even those who have never even visited central Illinois.
This question came up recently in a conversation with my neighbor. Previously, he had already referred his parents to us. They lived out of state but would be moving back to the area after retirement. They were looking for a financial planner, and it was a great fit for both of us.
Now, his brother was inquiring about needing assistance with investment advice. What he wasn’t sure about was whether we could help his family who lives out of state, with no intention of moving to Illinois. After explaining to him the scope of our services, the limitations, and how such a relationship is viable, he was able to help us connect.
So yes, we do work with non-local and out-of-state residents. In fact, in the age of covid, it’s not much different from working with many local individuals. Recently, I’ve often conducted meetings by zoom video or phone, even with clients and prospects that might live within a mile of my office! Some appreciate this method for the sake of safety, and others just prefer it out of convenience. Virtual meetings are the same, whether they are with a neighbor or someone thousands of miles away.
Having an advisor available that can work remotely is also a matter of accessibility. Many times over the years, I’ve found myself working with snowbirds or even those that travel often. And of course, many of my clients have moved out of state since retiring and I continue to seamlessly serve them.
Today’s technology gives us the freedom to connect with anybody, anywhere, at any time. And while sometimes I feel this blessing means we’re never actually ‘away’ from the office, it does give me peace of mind. I know that even while on a family vacation, in an emergency situation, I can immediately be available for my clients! This convenience even allowed me to extend our summer vacation while still engaging with my clients and servicing their needs.
Currently, I have clients in 13 states! I can happily report that there have been absolutely no challenges in providing our top-level service; our relationship is as strong as ever.
So with technology and communication facilitating and easing the financial planning and investment management process, what other restrictions might there be?
I am free to engage and create a financial plan for anyone, regardless of the state. Different states have different nuances and tax laws, but my software easily facilitates these differences.
Selecting investment models are the same, regardless of your state residency, and as a state registered RIA I’m allowed to work within these parameters which haven’t limited me at this point. As my practice has grown, I expect to be required to file for SEC registration late 2022. This allows unlimited growth nationwide.
As for my insurance services, I am able to offer insurance policies in Illinois and Alabama. If I have a client outside of these states with an insurance need, I can typically obtain licensure in that state. For my clients who utilized me for insurance products and later relocated, we do not have any limitations on the service of those policies. Insurance services are not a large part of my practice, and these limitations do not handicap my ability to serve my clients.