Why is a Virtual Financial Advisor Your Safer Choice?
There are three types of financial advisors: Virtual, Robo, and Traditional. All of these advisors can provide planning and investment services.
The quality of their advice varies based on their credentials: education, experience, certifications (CFA®, CFP®, CPA®).
Ethics is also a major variable – doing what is best for you versus themselves. You have to be able to trust the advice you are getting. That is why it pays to make sure your advisor is a financial fiduciary.
Consequently, when you select an advisor, the primary variable is not advice and services. It is how they communicate with future and current clients.
Methods of communication vary by type of advisor:
- Virtual: Telephone, Email, Skype, Zoom, GoToMeeting
- Traditional: Face-To-Face; Brick & Mortar Offices
- Robo: Electronic; Online Data Access
Virtual and traditional advisors provide unlimited human contact and accessibility.
Robo advisors may limit human contact or provide services that are more similar to virtual advisors for an additional fee.
In general, the lowest cost advisors are the Robo’s because they limit human contact. The highest cost advisors are the Traditional’s because they have the most overhead (offices, travel, etc.).
Virtual advisors generally charge fees that are higher than the Robos (more human contact), but lower than the Traditionals (do not have to travel to meet with clients).
The financial service industry can charge layers of fees for its advice and services. Investors should require full, written disclosure for all fees, commissions, and transaction charges that will be deducted from their accounts.
How much an investor pays for financial advice and services is an opportunity to select the best advisor for the lowest overall expense.
All three types of advisors provide online access to portfolio data.
Clients can log in into their accounts to view holdings, transactions, and performance-related data.
The Internet provides access to this data. The Internet is also the primary communication channel for Virtual and Robo advisors.
Select the Best Advisor
Your goal should be to select the best advisor based on an objective evaluation of the advisors’ credentials, ethics, business practices, and services.
You should not select advisors based on their proximity to you. This will limit your choices and may cause you to select an inferior advisor who happens to be located in a convenient location.
You should not select advisors based on sales pitches and personalities. This may cause you to select the advisor with the best sales skills.
The more objective your decision, the higher the probability you will select the best advisor for the right reasons.
The Virtual Advisor Option
Virtual advisors give you the opportunity to select the best financial advisor regardless of location.
You control who you interview when you use the Internet to find and research financial advisors.
You are not limited to advisors who contact you using telemarketing, direct mail, and other sales tactics.
Why Select a Virtual Advisor?
We believe your best choice is a virtual advisor for the following reasons:
- You have relatively unlimited choices when you interview virtual advisors. You are not limited to choices near you.
- The fees you pay for planning and investment services should be substantially lower than traditional advisors.
- You have unlimited access to your advisor and your data.
- You and your advisor make better use of time when you are not traveling to meet with each other.
- Traditional advisors prefer face-to-face contact because it maximizes the impact of their relationship and sales skills. You are better-off when you make an objective selection decision.