Does Grandma Zoom?


The majority of individuals did not leave their homes other than for essential needs for several months in 2020.  This brought about heightened concern regarding isolation and being able to connect with friends, loved ones, and conduct normal financial business.  In an attempt to create connections and decrease isolation, many individuals turned to various video calling options.  Zoom, FaceTime, Microsoft Teams, Facebook Portal are just to name a few.  Individuals who previously never even heard of such platforms were being introduced to it quickly.

Since the start of the coronavirus 47 percent of individuals have increased the usage of video calls in order to communicate with family and friends.  Forty-eight percent have not changed their usage of those platforms to reach out to family and friends and 5 percent decreased their usage of those tools to communicate.  Those percentages stay consistent regardless of age, with 45 percent of Baby Boomers and 47 percent of WWII investors increasing their usage of video call platforms to connect with friends and family since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic.

When Spectrem asked investors in 2019 what percentage of in the past 12 months with their primary advisor was conducted via video chat, the response was only one percent.  Fast forward to the time period we are in now, with many wealthy investors needing to quarantine themselves for health reasons, yet still need to communicate with their financial profession and the results paint a very different picture.  Eighteen percent of investors indicate they currently communicate via video call with their financial advisor when asked in August of 2020.

Among those investors who have not communicated with their financial advisor through a video call, 44 percent are willing to try that method of communication.  Over a third (34 percent) of WWII investors would be willing to try utilizing a video chat platform with their financial advisor and 46 percent of Baby Boomers would be willing to try video chat to communicate with their financial professional.

Twenty-one percent of investors believe that they will increase the use of video call platforms over the next year as well.  Nineteen percent of Baby Boomers and 11 percent of WWII investors believe they will increase using those platforms over the next year.

Also looking at the next year there will be a difference in the location of meetings with a financial advisor.  Nearly a third (32 percent) of investors believe their next face-to-face meeting with their financial advisor will be a virtual one.  Twenty-nine percent of Baby Boomer investors believe their next face-to-face meeting with their financial advisor will be virtual, while 28 percent of WWII investors feel that way.

There is no doubt that the landscape of communication and relationships with financial professionals have changed as a result of the pandemic.  This may change the manner in which wealthy investors prefer to conduct financial business permanently.  There may also be a rush to go back in-person as soon as is reasonably safe to do so, just to reclaim some normalcy.  Regardless of the communication methods of the future, it is clear that many older investors have become familiar with video chatting.  If you haven't used one of these platforms, take time to learn about it and use it to see a loved one or friend.