Investors are Willing to Video Chat with Advisors


How many times have you suffered from a miscommunication in texting, e-mailing or voice mail?

Misunderstanding intent, failing to recognize humor or sarcasm, or having difficulty getting answers to follow-up questions are the pitfalls of communicating electronically.

But face-to-face communication, which allows for the fullest possible understanding, is becoming a thing of the past in the business environment. Thanks to electronic marvels, it can again be a part of the business operations.

Computer programs like Skype, FaceTime and GoogleChat can allow two people to see each other as they speak via a webcam attached to most laptops and monitors today.

A Spectrem study reveals that approximately 20 percent of investors would be willing to use Skype or similar programs in order to communicate directly with their financial advisors. The numbers increase among younger investors.

Face-to-face communication allows all parties to communicate and receive communication via words, visuals, voice, face, body language and presence. Most of those cues are unavailable in electronic communication.

Video camera communication via computer allows most of those cues to be received. Some investors are willing to employ that technology to have better communication with their advisor.

The Spectrem study researches investors in three groups based on wealth – Mass Affluent (net worth up to $1 million not including primary residence), Millionaire (net worth between $1 million and $5 million NIPR), and Ultra High Net Worth (net worth between $5 million and $25 million NIPR).

Twenty-two percent of Millionaires said they would be willing to use webcam technology to communicate with financial advisors. That number jumped to 58 percent of Millionaires 35 years of age and under. For Millionaires between 36 and 44 years of age, it was 44 percent.

The numbers were generally lower among the UHNW respondents, with 20 percent saying they would use it, and 28 percent among those with net worth between $10 million and $15 million. One-third of UHNW investors between the ages of 48 and 54 said they would use webcams to communicate with advisors.

Among the Mass Affluent, 19 percent overall said yes to webcam communication, and 32 percent of those 35 and under said they would use the webcam technology if available.