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Virtual meetings with advisers can offer clients value in a more accessible way. Picture: SUPPLIED/LIBERTY/GETTY IMAGES
Virtual meetings with advisers can offer clients value in a more accessible way. Picture: SUPPLIED/LIBERTY/GETTY IMAGES

Before the pandemic and the resulting lockdown, face-to-face meetings were the norm.

Research shows most people prefer discussing their finances with their adviser physically present because of the complexity of each individual's financial circumstances.

But as a result of the pandemic, getting virtual advice from your financial adviser or broker has become more common. This comes with the advantage of being able to connect almost instantly — in a possible crisis — or just when you really need to speak about your financial situation.

“While there is no real substitute for face-to-face meetings, virtual meetings have become more acceptable during the pandemic. They offer another avenue to maintain contact and share ideas,” says Henry van Deventer, Liberty chief specialist for advice model design. “With changes in the working environment taking place, people's attitudes have changed as well.” 

The financial adviser is a coach, manager and psychological counsellor who deals with a client's wealth aspirations. That said, advice is only valuable if it has a measurable and memorable impact on the life of a client.

Research has shown the impact of intermediaries becomes evident when comparing the product holdings, financial position and net worth of consumers who use them, compared to consumers who do not. 

On one level online meetings save a great deal of time. And once clients become comfortable with their adviser relationship having a virtual dimension, most are satisfied with this medium for many future engagements. 

There has been a shift away from planning for specific events such as retirement, paying for education or losing your ability to look after your family’s financial needs. This has now pivoted towards integrating these considerations into planning for sustainable lifestyles, known as financial life planning. 

“Liberty's research shows clients do not lie awake at night worrying about the performance of their funds. They worry about the impact of real-life events. Having another child, where to educate their children and the costs associated with this, life in retirement and so on. The more adept financial advisers become at speaking to these issues, the more valuable their advice becomes.”

“For the client or potential client, virtual meetings with advisers can offer value in a more accessible way, they will also be able to successfully engage more often and possibly offer more services. This is due to the significant saving of time offered by emerging technologies,” Van Deventer says.

This article does not constitute tax, legal, financial, regulatory, accounting, technical or other advice.  The material has been created for information purpose only and does not contain any personal recommendations. While every care has been taken in preparing this material, no member of Liberty gives any representation, warranty or undertaking and accepts no responsibility or liability as to the accuracy, or completeness, of the information presented. Please consult your financial adviser should you require advice of a financial nature and/or intermediary services

Liberty Group Ltd is a Licensed Insurer and an authorised financial services provider (no 2409).

This article was paid for by Liberty.

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