How Financial Advisors Can Successfully Work from Home

Last Edited by: LPL Financial

Last Updated: March 21, 2024

 seated father working from home on laptop with daughter with tablet

Today, more and more advisors are working from home versus physical offices. Explore the benefits of working from home as a financial advisor and find out how to get started.

The shifts leading to remote work within financial advice

The Covid-19 pandemic served as a catalyst for a tech evolution in the financial advice industry and several firms have put a premium on technology to ensure financial advisors have the tools to work efficiently, securely, and compliantly – from home.

New technology has also enhanced the way investors approach financial planning. For example, there are an increased number of software programs that can automate the investment process. Because of the abundance of self-directed investment options and a general increase in knowledge, investors now want more of a relationship with their advisor, focused on a holistic approach.

As a result, independent advisors are becoming more popular as clients seek out more personalized service. Many financial advisors may be considering what independence could look like for them.:

“There are more and more models coming out to cater to wirehouse advisors who want more independence, more autonomy, and more control, but [who] don't want to take on more of the business side responsibilities," said Jeff Feldman, founder of Financial Recruitment Partner in Chicago.

Many financial advisors are focused on independence because it offers greater autonomy and control over their business. Working from home, or as a remote financial advisor, adds to the feeling of independence and helps foster a better work-life balance.

Should you be a work-from-home financial advisor?

Working from home as an independent, full-time financial advisor has its benefits and challenges. On the plus side, advisors have more control over their time and space, can take advantage of technology to stay connected with clients, and can be more productive without the distractions of a traditional physical office. Plus, it’s becoming more widely accepted and even beneficial in some cases. According to Upwork’s Future Workplace Report 2022, The Great Resignation was much friendlier to “remote-first organizations.” The Upwork study highlighted that “remote-first organizations were least often negatively impacted (31% negatively impacted), especially compared to remote by day (55% negatively impacted) or on-site-first organizations (49% negatively impacted).”

Remember though, working from home also requires self-discipline, time-management skills, and the ability to stay motivated. And advisors need to be adaptable to the limitations of working from home, like managing team culture and keeping up with data security.

Benefits of working as a remote financial advisor

One of the biggest benefits of working remotely as a financial advisor is the ability to work from anywhere in the world. This flexibility can be a game-changer for advisors who want travel or live in multiple locations. With a remote setup, all you need is a laptop and an internet connection.

Another benefit of working remotely is that it can save you money on commuting and office costs. If you're working from home, you won't have to worry about paying for gas, parking, or public transportation. And if you have a virtual office, you may be able to avoid paying rent for physical space.

Perhaps the most significant benefit of working remotely is the potential to create a better work-life balance. When your office is in your home, it's much easier to integrate your professional and personal life. This can be a huge advantage for parents or caregivers who need to be available for their families. 

Finally, working remotely gives you access to new clients who might not be able to come into your physical office. With LPL technology, it's easy to connect with people all over the world. And since more and more people are comfortable conducting business virtually, there's no reason why you can't tap into this growing market. 

How to become a virtual financial advisor

Making the transition to working from home can be a big change, but it doesn't have to be difficult. Here are a few key points to consider when making the switch: 

1. Maintain communication with clients

One of the most important things to remember when working from home is that you still need to maintain communication with your clients. This means being available during normal business hours and having regular check-ins, whether that's through phone calls, meeting via phone or video conferencing or connecting through regular emails communications. 

2. Make sure you have the right infrastructure in place

Working from home requires a different infrastructure than working in an office. You'll need a quiet, dedicated workspace set up in your home, as well as a good internet connection and reliable computer. Investing in the right equipment will help you be more productive and efficient when working from home.

3. Consider regulatory factors

If you're planning on working from home on a permanent basis, your fiduciary duty will remain unchanged, and there are some regulatory factors to consider. For example, if you're registered with the SEC, you'll need to maintain certain physical records at your office and make them available for inspection upon request. You'll also need to follow state-specific requirements if you plan on doing business with clients in multiple states.

Tips for setting up a successful remote office

When working from home, it’s important to have a dedicated space for your office. This will help you to stay focused and avoid distractions. The best way to create a dedicated space is to have a separate room that you can close the door to at the end of the day. If this isn’t possible, try to create a defined area in your home where you can work without distractions.

Consider the comfort of your office space, too. Your desk should be at the correct height so that you’re not straining your neck or shoulders when working. And be sure to take breaks often to move around and stretch your muscles.

Lighting is another important consideration for your home office. Natural light is best, so try to position your desk near a window. If you don't have access to natural light, make sure you have good task lighting that doesn't cause eye strain. 

Lastly, noise level is something you'll need to control in your home office. If you live with others, let them know when you need quiet time to concentrate on work. Consider using noise-cancelling headphones or earplugs if necessary. You may also want to create a playlist of calming music to help you focus while working.

Close to home. Closer to clients.

The move to remote work is growing in the financial services industry – and is expected to keep growing. Both advisors and clients can find a lot of value in the change to work from home. For many, the valuable lesson of the pandemic has been the personal examination of what’s truly important. Financial advisors are not immune from that examination and working from home offers advisors them the ability to flex schedules for their personal work-life balances.

Equally important, that examination helps financial advisors better understand what their clients are striving toward — and that makesing them even more valuable to those clients

And that’s something to write home about.

For details about how LPL Financial can help you pursue independence, please explore our Business Model Options and connect with us about to learn how we can help you with next steps. 

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