With visitors to this website/blog representing all 50 US states and 145 countries over the last 12-months, this is a question that we hear quite often. There is no doubt that the world is shrinking and the way that we consume products and services is changing.
Case in point, without leaving my desk in New Jersey, I recently worked with a mortgage broker in Minnesota, printed brochures in Tennessee, and bought a ski helmet from Utah. Thomas L. Friedman, author of The World Is Flat, writes, "The simple definition of globalisation is the interweaving of markets, technology, information systems, and telecommunications networks in a way that is shrinking the world from a size medium to a size small." Financial advisors do not operate in a vacuum so it only makes sense that the way clients are selecting and working with their financial advisors is also changing.
Since our company opened its doors over twenty years ago, our clients have been widespread geographically. Our clients reside beyond our local market of New Jersey and extend in all directions to Vermont, Florida, Texas, California, and Hawaii. We can even work with clients who live outside of the United States. While some services must stay local, like your supermarket or landscaper, financial services do not have to be within a 20 minute drive from your house.
Building Trust Is Essential
Technology is definitely making the world smaller. In 1993, we could communicate with clients by phone or fax, if we didn't have the luxury of meeting face-to-face. Today, there is email, social media, and even Internet video conferencing to close geographic distances.
What hasn't changed is the importance of trust. Sometimes a face-to-face meeting, breaking bread together, and a firm hand shake can help establish trust more quickly. However, it is not essential. Many advisors work with clients that they have not met, yet.
Knowing What You Want
You need to know what you want, as a client. If it is important to you that your investment advisor treats you lunch regularly or gives you tickets to a show or sporting event, then you should look exclusively for an advisor in your locale. However, if you're seeking an advisor whose philosophy and expertise you trust, then the world is your oyster and knows no bounds.
We're always just a phone call, email, or mouse click away.
Do you feel that it's important to work with a local financial advisor? What are the most important factors driving your decision making when choosing a financial advisor?
You may enjoy these past blog posts: