19, 24, 25, 25, 21. No, these aren’t yesterday’s winning Powerball numbers, but rather, the ages of Zuckerberg, Brin, Page, Gates, and Jobs when they founded their companies (Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Apple, respectively).
They may be the Titans of Tech, but they all have something else in common: they were all “kids” when they started their companies and they’re all pitching technologies that are now altering the wealth management landscape – social media and mobile.
It’s both fair and appropriate that I give credit to the statistics and information that I’m going to cite up front – you see the inspiration for this blog post came from a recent research paper written by Bill Doyle over at Forrester Research. Bill’s been doing some work recently in the area of Wealth Management and Social Technologies – and has published his findings (there’s more work coming out, too, so watch this space).
So back to the Titans of Tech… given that technological innovation seemingly is the province of “twenty-something” geeks and entrepreneurs, it should come as no surprise that it’s the younger folks leading the charge in the adoption of social media and the mobile Internet for wealth management. Specifically, it’s the Generation Y’ers (ages 18 to 30) that are driving the growth of mobile and social. Following close behind them are the Gen X’ers (ages 31 to 44), the Baby Boomers, and the Seniors – in that order.
But, even amongst the Seniors, 47% of this segment have at least one account with a social networking site. Furthermore, given that the Baby Boomers are the ones with the most investments, it’s not far off when social media and mobile will become the primary weapons for investment advisors to attract and retain clients. And, even among the Gen X’ers and Y’ers (the latter growing up with iPods and iPhones in their hands), as they accumulate wealth, they will continue to use the media with which they have grown the most accustomed – social and mobile.
So, all signs point to people of all ages increasingly turning to social and mobile to manage their money. That’s why wealth management firms are so keen to really understand the regulatory environment, or in the event there are no regulations, then to lobby for clearer guidance from the SEC and/or FINRA. Already, FINRA convened a task force in March of this year to assess what, if anything, needed to be updated on Regulatory Notice 10-06 (originally issued in January 2010).
The Forrester report goes into additional detail – and makes a number of suggestions for wealth management firms and what they should be doing. We’ve collaborated with Forrester to make a copy of this $399 value report available to you on a complimentary basis – and you can download a copy of it here. Stay tuned also and hear Bill Doyle speak in both New York and Boston alongside leading brand names in Financial Services on what’s going on in the social world and how you can best address it!