The “futurewealthy” spend nearly six hours a day online, split between work and play, according to a study by SEI, Scorpio Partnership, and Standard Chartered Private Bank.
“Our report confirms the hypothesis that investment advisors need to engage in technology to attract and retain clients in this market segment,” said Al Chiaradonna, senior vice president of SEI’s Global Wealth Services.
The “futurewealthy,” as defined in this report, have a “significant” amount of wealth and expectations of accumulating still more. The average assets of the respondents was around $1.9 million, while nearly 20% of the group fell into the “very wealthiest” category, with assets over $4 million. Nearly half of the futurewealthy were younger than 45, indicating many more years of working and building plumper portfolios.
Among the study’s findings are that this group, on the fast-track to wealth, spend almost three hours a dayof personal time
and a further three hours of every working day online. Moreover, the $4 million group is even more likely to be online, spending over 48 hours a week on the Web: practically seven hours a day.
While the average respondent has three high-tech devices, the over-$4 million segment uses four. Most often, the Futurewealthy own laptops (83% of all respondents), smartphones (67%), MP3 players (46%), and tablets (41%). When they’re online, these wealth builders often visit social media sites; their favorites are Facebook (71% have a presence there), You tube (48%), Google (37%), Linkedin (31%), and Twitter (29%). Of those surveyed, 55% percent access social networking sites through mobile applications or devices.
“I was surprised to see that the people in this survey used Facebook much more than Linkedin, which is a professional networking site,” Chiaradonna said. “There is a perception among advisors that high-net worth clients may have privacy concerns about some social media sites, but that perception might not be accurate.” Using popular social networking sites may indeed be a good way to reach attractive prospects and retain tech-savvy clients.
That said, advisors might not want to fill up social networking sites with every detail of their lives, past and present. “We recommend that advisors keep their online messages short and simple,” said Kevin Crowe, head of solutions for SEI Advisor Network. “Tell who you are and perhaps identify the type of clients you often work with. That might be retirees or doctors or even companies you help with benefits planning. Such an approach may help to inform suitable prospects and lead to more meaningful, in-depth conversations.”