James Miller, president of Woodward Financial Advisors, shares with FA-IQ how he is coping with work-from-home arrangements resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.
Chapel Hill, N.C.-based Miller has 25 years of industry experience and his firm has $350 million in client assets.
“We started coronavirus preparations a few weeks ago. Our firm is one in which all of us come into the office each day to work. Earlier this month, we had a dress rehearsal with part of our firm working remotely and then we went to 100% remote working last Monday. We are continuing to hold all client meetings from home, using video conferencing software. We continue to schedule client meetings going forward based on their service interval.
Technology is so important for us right now. Things such as Slack for internal communication, Join.me for our video conferences, Grasshopper to seamlessly transfer phone calls from home like we are in the office, etc. We were 100% cloud-based to begin with so everything we access in the office can be accessed from home.
Additionally, we started a calling campaign two weeks ago with a goal of proactively calling every one of our clients to see how they are doing and hoping to get to everyone by this week. We are just checking in on them to see how they are doing, and if there is anything at all we can help with. We started with our single clients and those that are older and more vulnerable to the virus. In many cases, we’ve been a resource for ideas on how to obtain groceries or prescriptions or other daily activities.
We also check in on how they are feeling about the market and economy, based on their specific financial situation. The vast majority of our clients have an optimistic attitude and have taken steps with our help over the years to be able to easily withstand this temporary market drop.”