Travis Forman is the Portfolio Manager at Strategic Private Wealth Counsel – Harbourfront Wealth Management.

In today’s ever-evolving financial landscape, there are many advising options at our fingertips. From national financial firms and robo-advisors to more personalized assistance—choosing the right help can be overwhelming. In this era of global connectivity, it is easy to forget about the financial advisor who is right around the corner from you.

When securing your financial future, do not underestimate the power of local insight. The support of a professional who understands your market’s specific characteristics can provide invaluable support, and considering partnering with them could be beneficial.

Convenience And Accessibility Of Local Advisors

As anyone who has tried to catch up with a friend or family member in a different time zone understands, long-distance scheduling is complicated. The back-and-forth to figure out the best time, the early morning or late-night calls, and that’s without factoring in the daylight saving time confusion. When you work with a local professional, you can say goodbye to calendar gymnastics. They operate on your time.

You can easily contact them by making a quick phone call or scheduling a face-to-face meeting. Instead of being left in the dark, you can rest assured your advisor is easy to access, which is especially valuable in times of elevated market volatility. The convenience and accessibility of local advisors make your financial journey smoother and more personalized.

There is also the benefit of in-person meetings at your advisor’s office. These meetings do not just offer you convenience, but they also create an environment for effective communication. Expressing your concerns and understanding responses is often easier when physically present with your advisor.

Building Personal Relationships

There’s something special about a local connection. When your financial advisor is down the street, you are not just their client—you are a neighbor, a friend and part of their community. This proximity naturally fosters deeper, lasting relationships that are hard to replicate with robo-advisors or distant professionals. It is this personalized approach that sets them apart. Instead of being treated like a number on a spreadsheet, they recognize your unique needs and goals. An advisor in your area can provide a personal touch you cannot replicate elsewhere.

On the other hand, there are some limitations you may face when working with a local financial advisor. Knowing the ins and outs of just one local community may come with the opposing challenge of not knowing enough about what may be impacting your investments and savings from a more macro perspective.

In today’s climate, access to an expansive shelf, as well as a thorough understanding of complex assets and funds, are what clients are looking for. If you plan to work with a local advisor, ensure they can support you in both of these endeavors, and if not, then you may want to continue your search. One way to get a good grasp on how much your advisor knows is to do your own due diligence and research, ask them questions and test how expansive their knowledge is.

In-Depth Local Market Understanding

This is where the power of local expertise really shines. Like knowing the best hole-in-the-wall restaurant in town, local advisors have the inside scoop on opportunities unique to your area and understand your financial goals within the context of the community you share. Not only will they be familiar with the residential housing market but also the cost of living in your locale. These costs can change, sometimes substantially, even within the same province. For example, someone residing in Vancouver will have unique costs and financial concerns compared to someone in Kelowna, even though they are both British Columbian residents.

A local finance professional should have tips for optimizing funds and tax credits specific to your area. For example, imagine you live in the province of Saskatchewan. You might have access to certain grants or programs unavailable to someone in British Columbia and vice versa.

An advisor with a deep understanding of your specific market can tailor your financial strategy to take full advantage of local quirks and opportunities. Nuances matter, especially when it comes to achieving your financial goals. These are important considerations to keep in mind when thinking of working with a financial advisor.

Local Advisors And Family Financial Planning

When planning for your family’s future, the more local the advice, the better. Let’s say you put away funds for your child’s university education. The tuition fees at universities and colleges can vary significantly from city to city, and your local advisor should know the breakdown of the costs applicable to you. They can provide accurate advice tailored to your city’s educational landscape.

A local advisor’s in-depth knowledge extends beyond education. They understand the local housing market’s ebb and flow. For example, they would know how events like Covid-19 have impacted your city’s economy, recovery and current vacancy rates. This means they can guide you with advice relevant to your area.

A case where it may be best to work with an international advisor is if you own a large business with multiple branches in different countries. In this scenario, working with a local advisor will not suit your interests. Instead, you’ll need to find an advisor, or likely an advisor team, that understands the cross-border rules and regulations.

Navigating the financial landscape on your own can seem like a journey through a complex maze. Therefore, it is important to find and choose a professional that meets your needs, local or not.

The information provided here is not investment, tax or financial advice. You should consult with a licensed professional for advice concerning your specific situation.

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