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Zoom. Skype. Boom.

Updated: Jul 20, 2023

Zoom. Webex. Skype. Teams. Hangouts. FaceTime. If you’re like me, you once loathed these videoconferencing tools, but one of the most here-to-stay consequences of 2020 is that everybody-- and I mean everybody— has become comfortable working with a financial advisor online or on the phone. …So, I love them now, of course.

When you think about it, it’s a reality that was overdue, and 2020 simply hastened our race to the already well-established finish line. After all, when it comes to your financial wellbeing, do you want the nearest or the best?

We founded RG Investment Group as a throwback to the days when Western firms dominated the financial landscape, having earned a trust based on demonstrable concern for clients. Firms like Wells Fargo, Sutro & Co. and Dean Witter made Montgomery Street the “Wall Street of the West.” Bankers like Darius Ogden Mills, who founded the Bank of California and then personally guaranteed its assets after an old-fashioned run on the bank, and Los Angeles’s first banker, Isaias W. Hellman, assured that those traditions made their way all the way down the coast of California.

That's why we structured our firm as a regional boutique wealth management firm. And then, just as you’d expect, we started getting calls from Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts and New York. Of course that’s how it happened, right?

No matter. We love it. Wouldn’t have it any other way. We beam ourselves into the most prestigious zip codes in the country and work with any high net-worth family there who isn’t getting the service or attention they deserve. We have clients from Manhattan's Upper West Side to the rural north shore of Kauai, and we treat them the same. Nobody needs to see my office with all the awards on the wall; I probably posted them on Instagram anyway. Nobody needs to slap my back at the local country club; that was your stockbroker thirty years ago.

We are here to help you make money. That is all. We’re here to discuss taxes, insurance, financial planning, investing, charitable giving, corporate retirement plans, access to capital markets and credit, and we can do it wherever you want.

The accelerated adoption of web meetings and Docusigning and life insurance underwriting without medical exams and bonds being traded out of some guy’s living room in Boca have all served to create a new competitive landscape in the financial services industry. Zoom meetings, client portals, cybersecurity and the sharing of content are all part of this new-era toolbox that will help you to identify the best-- not the closest-- financial advisor for you.

It will still take some homework on your part, to be sure. Even in this day and age when content can be uploaded in a second, most of it is stale within hours of being published. (Let’s face it-- I have created dozens of these columns over the last few years, and nobody will ever read 99% of what I’ve done prior to last week unless I’m accused of a triple homicide and claim to have buried clues to the crime within my old posts.) So, we’ve got access to a lot of information, but access to meaningful communication is a bigger part of what makes this business tick, for both the investor and the advisor.

Boomers and Xers figured that out in 2020. Their kids already knew it, but for those who had missed it before last year, visiting one’s cardiologist on Zoom or attending church on Facebook Live probably turned on the lightbulb. There’s no going back.

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