Winning the Battle for the Wealthy Investor

While working on business practice management program we’re creating for a NYC-based asset manager, I rediscovered this year-old study by Cisco IBSG. Money quote:

“Wealth Under-50s have different needs and interaction preferences due to their higher use of—and comfort with—technology. And among all customer segments, they are the most interested in the kinds of new services that will drive the next generation of wealth management.”

It attracted little notice in the blogosphere except for this contrarian post from Bob Clark, who’s also a columnist for Investment Advisor. Ignore this demanding, restless segment, says Clark, and focus on clients over age 50—they’re calmer, more likely to listen to you, less likely to leave you.

One container holds PCs. The rest are smartphones.

And it may be that the this generation of high- and ultra-high-net-worth clients, once it turns 50, will suddenly become docile, unquestioning, and otherwise well-behaved. But it’s a separate question whether they’ll change their habits and preferences for communicating.

There’s lots of reason to believe they won’t. The Cisco study is just a droplet in the encroaching tide of evidence that we’re undergoing huge changes in how we interact. Anyone still doubting where world is headed just needs to absorb one fact: In 2011, for the first time, more smartphones shipped than PCs.

The devices on which we access the Internet will only get more portable and more embedded in our day-to-day lives. Which means that social apps, video calling, and other web and IP-enabled communications will also become more embedded in our lives. Including the way we communicate with investment managers and advisors.

Bringing us back to the $9.8 trillion (as of June 2010) sitting with the Wealthy Under-50s in North America. With every passing month, the money you manage will increasingly be held by people who want to communicate with you differently from how you’re doing it today. As Wayne Gretzky said, are you skating to where the puck is going to be, or where it’s been?


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