CNBC examined how three FAs have managed during the pandemic.
Chris Pollard, a U.S. Army veteran, and a CFP and principal at Great Path Planning, had to put his business continuity plan to the test. It called for working from home or a public location with web access, or even using his cellphone to get internet access.
Even though he was allowed to keep his office open, Pollard instead moved his client interactions to phone and video chats as many of his clients are in the high-risk category for COVID-19. He said he wanted clients to know he would take care of them, no matter the circumstances.
CFP Dennis Stearns, founder Stearns Financial Group in Greensboro, North Carolina, said his firm developed a pandemic plan in response to the SARS outbreak. Stearns said his firm has proactively reached out to clients and increased client communications by “a factor of three.” Stearns also notes that before the pandemic, only 10% of the firm’s 600 clients interacted with advisors via GoToMeeting, but that has jumped to 90%. The remaining 10% are using the phone.
Meanwhile, Hannah Moore said half of her client base was meeting virtually prior to the pandemic. Now, all interactions are online or via phone. Moore, owner of Guiding Wealth in Dallas, said her client base is mostly older individuals thinking about retirement. After the crisis has subsided, Moore expects that more clients will prefer to interact with her online.