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TheStreet Open House

War for Young Rich Could Be Won by Video

Stocks in this article: CSCO

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- More than $2.2 trillion in assets could be in play among wealthy investors under 50, according to Cisco's (CSCO) Internet Business Solutions Group, the company's global consultancy. Its advice for financial services firms that want some: a renewed focus on video technology and social media.

There is no denying Cisco, with its focus on video and conferencing technology, has a horse in the race. But it makes the case that advisers need to make a better value proposition to younger generations that grew up amid constantly evolving technologies.

Younger investors expect their financial advisers to offer solutions at least as high-tech as they find in other parts of their lives, say officials at Cisco who have such solutions to offer.

"Success with the wealthy under-50 segment will require a new strategy involving tighter, more valuable interaction," says Jörgen Ericsson, a Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group vice president and global lead for its Financial Services Practice. "The battle for the wealthy investor has only begun."

"Wealthy under-50 investors expect that the technologies they are already using in their everyday lives will be available to help them better manage their financial lives," adds Robert Waitman, director of the Financial Services Practice.

IBSG recently surveyed more than 1,000 wealthy U.S investors -- those with at least $500,000 in investable assets. It found that, of these respondents, 63% said they were willing to move some of their assets to a firm "that provides enhanced capabilities, such as high-definition video meetings in the office." Additional technology-enabled capabilities include home-based video (such as webcam and high-definition video conferencing), tablet PC and video messaging.

Technology alone won't attract investments, the study found, but can help return confidence to skeptical investors.

With the hangover from the financial crisis lingering, Cisco found that wealthy investors of all ages remain concerned about their financial future and are more skeptical about the efficiency of the financial markets. Fifty percent of wealthy investors who have not retired expect that they will be forced to delay their retirement due to the poor performance of their investments, with 18% expecting to delay by five years or more.

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