Postal service workers have nothing on financial advisors. Indeed, neither rain nor snow nor Hurricane Sandy kept advisers from their appointed rounds today.
“I’m sitting in my office and working because I can,” said Erika Safran, CFP of Safran Wealth Advisors. “It’s almost business as usual, if the day didn’t seem so surreal awaiting the unknown.”
Safran, who lives in midtown New York City, walking distance from her office, reports having a phone call with a prospective client with whom she had a tentative appointment today. She emailed the prospect a note confirming the chat. In addition, she responded via email to two other clients with administrative non-investment related issues.
Safran also enjoyed a long-awaited business development opportunity in the midst of Hurricane Sandy, a storm that closed down much of the East Coast. “I finally received an anticipated phone call from a New York organization representative inviting me to propose a financial education seminar for their members,” she says. “So glad I was here to take the call!”
Other financial advisors also report a near situation normal day. “Our communications with clients today are pretty normal – phone and email are our methods of choice, and they are holding up today as well,” said Leslie Beck, CFP, of Compass Wealth Management in Maplewood, NJ.
To be fair, some advisors did close their offices, but kept open the lines of communication with their clients.
“Yes, we are communicating with clients,” said Catherine Seeber, CFP, a principal and financial advisor with Wescott Financial Advisory Group in Philadelphia.
Wescott sent out two client alerts via email notifying clients that its office was closed but that advisors would be available remotely. “All voicemails have been updated with office closing stating that everyone is available remotely unless otherwise notified,” she said.
What’s more, Seeber was able to “resume business by use of Citrix (all Microsoft Office and CRM applications available) and cell phone.”
And still other advisors reached out to clients on on Sunday. For instance, Phil Dyer, CFP, RLP, CPCC, CEO, founder and chief financial educator of Dyer Financial Advisory, sent out a message to all his clients yesterday with backup emergency contact procedures. “I have a 4G hotspot, iPad and iPhone that I can run simultaneously from the car as a mobile command center, if need be, with a streaming HD with critical client info,” says Dyer, a former officer in the U.S. Army.
At mid-afternoon today, Dyer says he had intermittent power outages, but communication has been normal. “I expect to lose power sometime tonight and am prepped to run my mobile command center for a week, as necessary,” Dyer says.