Can a remote planner work in my state?

I just received an email with some general questions that ended with: “I have seen your advertisements and posts on WCI and do plan to use your services, if they can be used in Texas.” As I was responding, I realized that most doctors may not understand whether a remote relationship with a financial planner is even an option and how it would work.

Remote financial advising is nothing new in some ways. In the last few decades, clients who wanted to continue a relationship after relocating would do so by phone, email, and snail-mail. However, there were few, if any, financial planners whose practices were centered on remote client relationships. Serving clients who were not local advisor was done in special circumstances, not as a business model.

In 2010, FaceTime changed all that. Soon, there were multiple producers of low-cost, high qualify video-conferencing. This meant consumers were no longer limited by geography when seeking out the best fit for a financial advisor.

Today, advisors meet f2f with clients from the locations most convenient to all, even when spouses are in separate places, as is common with locums clients. Our clients like to be comfortable during meetings and it’s not uncommon for them to have a planning meeting at their kitchen table or wearing workout clothes on their back patio.

Fortunately, licensing is much less restrictive for us than it is for doctors. For almost all states, an out-of-state registered investment advisor must do business with over 5 clients in the state before a separate state license is required. In our case, for example, we are currently required to register in only 6 states, but have clients in many more.

A remote advisor is not a perfect fit for every client. Some prefer the traditional meeting around the conference table and we still have a few of those. I’ll have to admit, it’s nice getting a hug when clients visit. Bur I’ve been surprised by the acceptance of remote advice by clients of all ages and demographics.

If you would like to dip your toe in the water to experience what remote advice would “feel” like, schedule an initial consultation to meet via AnyMeeting or FaceTime. You’ll have the opportunity to go through a meeting and see how we look on your computer or iPad and decide if it may work for you. Best of all, it’s free, there is no further obligation, and you can ask any questions you want!


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