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Investment Advisers Must Prepare for Generational Shift


July 10, 2014

Internet publication InvestmentNews recently led a research study surveying both advisers and investors on thoughts regarding current modes of communication as well as what they see for the future.

The results from asking advisers only demonstrated that by far the heaviest avenues of communication are – as expected – telephone, email and in-person meetings. The remaining categories – text message, video conference, social media and postage – indicated very few users, especially the former two options. Asked the same questions but as a prediction for five years from now, there were a couple interesting differences. Those same three categories remained most important but there was an immense rise of almost 28 percent more for video conference and a notable increase for text message and social media communication.

The same questions were then asked of the investors, split into three age groups: under 45, 45 to 54 and 55 plus. Their responses followed the same general pattern as advisers, although there was a noticeable trend of younger investors being more open to adopting less traditional technology and older ones more comfortable sticking with the three main channels. However, investors do not foresee an increase in social media communication even half as much as advisers, instead predicting much more of a rise in text messaging.

Asked if they would like to see more services offered five years in the future, younger respondents wanted to see a lot more while older respondents generally were content with those offered currently. Advisers responded thinking that not much would need to be added overall, which shows a discord between them and the next generation of investors. Almost nobody in any group answered they would like to see less services offerings.

Mobile devices have been the primary impetus in technological change this decade, and it is set to continue. Communication channels that are idealized for this platform are the ones most likely to rise in significance and implementation, so they must be planned for, especially as the next generation matures and is overall more comfortable with the technology and open to the changes it brings.




Edited by Maurice Nagle




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