The generation game: Fault lines and advantages
Earlier this year I had lunch with a good friend; she brought along her eldest daughter. I’ve known the kid since she was about five years old; today she’s a poised, smart adult running a small London legal practice. Talking generally about her work, she mentioned that currently hiring and retaining staff was a problem. So far so predictable. But what took me aback was when she said she would never again hire anyone over 40 – changed her mind and reduced it to 35.
Her thinking can be summed up as: they are not ‘digital natives’. Those under her cut-off point were born and bred surrounded by loads of new technology, and therefore have the ability to take on and tackle new tech issues by themselves. Generally they need little supervision, don’t need expensive courses to get them up to speed, and tend to know where to go for answers.
I could see where I, a technophobe and digital dinosaur, would never cut the mustard the way she liked it. It also got me thinking about financial advice, how it is delivered and by whom. In the Money section of the Weekend FT (19/8/23) was an excellent article by Rafe Udin who interviewed several financial influencers on social media.
He focused on those about 30 years old who wanted to appeal to young people, where social media was the most likely source for information on an money and an increasing array of topics. Some were studying to become independent financial advisers (IFA), a qualification which less than 6 per cent of those under 30 hold (according to data from the Financial Conduct Authority).
A lady called Bola Sol, who is a financial coach and personal finance columnist with a strong on-line presence warns: ‘would-be influencers [must] not underestimate the demands of posting financial content online. The FCA allows general ‘’guidance’’ but not targeted ‘’advice’’.‘ Last year the FCA amended or took down 8500 cases of promotional material. John Somerville of the London Institute of Banking and Finance reminds that IFAs must stay on top of legal requirements, the FCA introducing new guidelines for influencers just last month.
Finally one must remember the age gap in the choice of social media vehicles. Obviously when Twitter only allowed a very restricted number of characters, long form content was impossible. YouTube gives the presenter time to go into detail, something TikTok can’t cope with. Meanwhile Instagram splits opinion and Facebook has sects of ardent fans and foes. LinkedIn is favoured by an older cohort, let’s call them middle aged, and like YouTube, campaigns can be ‘evergreen’ – content that stays fresh for long periods and can therefore be revived periodically. Just what I need!
Tags: Compliance, Content, IFA, Social media
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