For its entire history, financial planning has been about sitting down across from clients, face-to-face, and talking them through solutions to their financial planning challenges. Finding clients was about in-person meetings, getting clients was about in-person meetings, and serving clients was about in-person meeting.
Yet the rise of technology is creating a new service model for financial planning – the “virtual” advisor, who uses web-based tools and technology to serve clients, regardless of where the client (or advisor) happens to be. And these “location-independent” advisors are able to serve new and different types of clientele, thanks to both the cost savings and efficiency of using technology in lieu of a traditional office, and the potential to craft an especially focused business serving a niche clientele that becomes feasible in the world of content and inbound marketing.
In point of fact, the growth of online financial advice (not just via “robo-advisor” but delivered by human advisors using technology) is already underway – fueling the growth of platforms from Personal Capital to Vanguard Personal Advisor Services – and an increasing number of existing advisors are beginning to use more technology tools to serve their clients as well. But as a new e-book entitled “The Virtual Advisor” by Alan Moore points out, the new location-independent virtual advisor model may be most appealing to the next generation of financial advisors, who will have the opportunity not to just create a life around the business of financial advice, but instead to create an advisory business around living their own great life.