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Some Investors Want to Speak to Advisors Via Webcam Technology

Twenty percent of investors would use Skype, FaceTime and GoogleChat to speak to advisors, Spectrem Group study shows

| BY Kent McDill

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 Group Millionaire Corner survey released in the second quarter revealed 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 Group 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.

About the Author

Kent McDill

Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.

In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.

McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.

McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy  Buffett and all things Disney.