Kristina George, wealth manager at Northstar Financial Planning, shares with FA-IQ how she is coping with work-from-home arrangements resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.
Windham, N.H.-based George has 26 years of industry experience and her firm has $120 million in client assets.
“At Northstar, we have clients all over the country so we’re all very comfortable working remotely. We have been using Zoom and other GoTo meeting platforms for years, so that part is really no issue for us. We use a secure vault to share sensitive documents and our clients are all set up on the portal. We can also share documents with their other advisors — CPAs and attorneys.
At this time, most of my colleagues are staying home, as they have young children who are at home from school. Of course, for them having a designated and private workspace is crucial. We are staying connected by weekly team meetings via Zoom. I have grumpy teenagers at home, so I am currently in the office as is the office manager. We have closed for walk-in meetings, which is difficult since many of our clients are either in the process of divorce or newly widowed. In-person meetings are so meaningful and it’s just not the same over the screen, but it does allow us to continue planning and working.
As part of our security procedures, we must ensure that our clients’ personal information is safe. All of us have secure networks at home, and specifically designated work computers. We’ve had this set up for years, as it’s part of our compliance requirements for business continuity. Of course, we’ve tested it before when we have snowstorms in New Hampshire. We never expected this to be the cause, but really, we haven’t missed a minute’s work here.
It’s easy to get swept up in current events as things are moving quickly. We are keeping in constant touch with our clients and the anxiety they feel about the uncertainty of the markets and the effect on their future plans can be wearing. It’s essential as advisors that we remember to keep in good health by doing the basics — eating right, getting rest, movement, meditation or mindfulness and fresh air.”