Do not miss out on this market!! My Dad is a Silver surfer!

I am not talking about the ocean type either (this picture just made me happy)

action beach fun leisure

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

My dad was born in ’48 which means he is turning 70 later this year.  He is the ideal baby boomer.  To understand the term Baby Boomer click here.  His parents met in the war, his mother a war bride from the UK followed her husband back to Oakville ON where together they built a strong and fruitful life.  They had 2 kids, one girl, and one boy.   My dad grew up hardworking but privileged – if that makes sense.

He was a bit of a handful, school was not his thing.  He quit school after grade 10 and started his own company (starting small, growing to a larger concrete and heavy machine company).  Those were the days when it was possible to be successful with no education – just drive.   There is no doubt that he worked hard, and I am sure he felt at times things were a struggle.  I vaguely remember some stressful conversations around the kitchen while growing up.     Then the 80’s arrived and truthfully anyone with drive, ambition and a little privilege could make a very good income.   He was super lucky to retire early, he found a buyer at the right time for the right amount of money.  At age 50 he was done, retired.

Now what?

ask blackboard chalk board chalkboard

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He dabbled in a few other ventures, never putting his heart and soul into it.   He fixed up the cottage, bought a place in Florida, fixed that up too.  He spent the last 15 years as the president of this Florida community.  These things kept his mind going, and kept him busy – thankfully.   Although I feel maybe he was a little bored.

2 years ago out of the blue he said he wanted an iPad.   A WHAT?  My dad who never so much as responded to an email wanted an iPad!!   Oh boy.  Here we go.    Up until this point all computer communication was vetted through my darling mom who is no computer tech.   The extent of her use was “google searching”   and responding to emails.   When I asked why he wanted an iPad, he responded “to stay connected to the world”.

 

Ok Daddio, we got you the iPad, what now?

Well after a few painful lessons, some tears (mostly on my part ha ha – have you ever taught the entire internet to a senior? ) and a couple of lost attempts we got him set up on his very own iPad, installed Facebook, Instagram, Kijiji, email, Pinterest.    Well – yesterday he called me using his Facebook phone to show me a boat he wants to buy on Kijiji – WHAT?   Yah he took to it like a fish takes to water.  He is the master searcher.  He will search and search, click, like share like he is a pro.

IPad

Dad’s Facebook page

 

He is the Silver surfer and he is not unlike the other 9.6 Million Canadians that were born between the years 1946 – 1964.  They are retiring “en masse” and they are hitting the iPad, Smartphone, Laptop,  whatever they can get their hands on.

Marketers … get ready! 

They have the $ and the time to surf and buy!

 

Do you have any Silver Surfers in your life?

 

Twitter #silversurfer #nevertooold #babyboomer  to find the next largest market click here https://bit.ly/2KhkPD1

Facebook  Do not miss this untapped market https://bit.ly/2KhkPD1  #babyboomer

Making the Most of Social Media; the Act of Becoming UN-Socially Social

There are days I used to feel sorry for my son;   I have one boy; now age 20.   Obviously he has grown up in the age of personal technology.  I do my best to embrace it (like take courses to expand my reach and understanding) but he has pretty much lived and breathed it from the time he was just a little snapper.

Whilst he was little I monitored what he did online, limited exposure and explained the dangers of Social Media.  I parented around it – mostly keeping him so busy with sports that he fell asleep nice and early with little time to engage online.    To the best of my knowledge he didn’t get himself into too much trouble and he was not at the butt end of trouble either.

It was my husbands and my dream to live in the country so we did it, we uprooted the kid and moved to the country – the boy was age 14.   He was onboard for the move, super excited as he loved the outdoors.  He was excited to do things like get an ATV.   The honeymoon wore off quickly.

OH no.

For us the peaceful living was exactly what we expected it to be – amazing.

For the boy it was a nightmare.

He was used to city life, the school next door – countless friends on the street to these guys 20160905_185139 being our closest neighbor.   My husband and I did as good of a job as we could; getting him into town for visits, and of course we kept up with the sporting events.  That Social aspect, that instant connection with peers for him was gone.   That walk out on the street and see a buddy was gone.  He was a lonely kid.

For a while he was sad then I noticed that the cell phone/IPad/ computer/ Xbox were in use a lot more.  The text messages were flying, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, were being used more and more.  I was worried, what was wrong with him?  Why didn’t he want to see his friends?   When I was a kid I was always trying to get my parents to drive me somewhere, to do something.    He stopped asking me for drives to town, declined events and invites.   Our main concern was that he was not social, that he was shutting himself off from the world and avoiding people.    I had so many questions, was he ok?

Since then I have learned – Boy was I wrong.

While I was upstairs worrying about him having no friends, no social life… he was downstairs (in his little domain) having a great time.  He was socializing and talking to people all the time.  His peers found him, just not in person.  They found him online and they engaged with him.   He was no longer lonely; in fact there were times he admits now that he is older he had too much on the go.   Who knew?

What I needed to understand as a parent was that kids don’t do things the same anymore.  A lot of what they do is online, not in person and while that is not how I would do things, it is ok.  My needs are not the same as his.   While he is playing his Xbox games (appearing to be alone) he is talking to a group of friends that are all doing the same thing at home.   Relief.

Obviously things are different now; he is 20 and lives on his own while at University (note: with friends).   He sublets his place and comes home in the summer to stay with us.  I feel the need to tell you, if he is not at work, or with us he is probably downstairs using some form of social media and that is OK with me.

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This story is mine.   I am sure every experience will be different; I want to encourage you to talk to someone if you are lonely – reach out.   There is help waiting for you.

for Kids help line click here

If you feel lost and alone click here

Online access is not enough for everyone so I would also encourage all parents to open a discussion with their children, make sure they are getting what they need socially.   Everyone’s needs are different!

 

Facebook  Understanding the act of becoming UNsocially social visit this https://bit.ly/2tguCSp

Twitter #lonely #teenager click here to understand becoming UNsocially social https://bit.ly/2tguCSp

The Shrinking World and How to Deal With It.

ball shaped blur close up focus

Photo by Porapak Apichodilok on Pexels.com

Growing up in the 70’s I fondly remember road trips with my parents.  Maps strewn all over the front bench seat, packed tuna sandwiches, water in pickle jars and maybe the promise of stopping at a McDonald’s and getting a treat if I was good.  (Yes bribery worked back then because we got McDonald’s maybe once a year)

If we got lost on the way, we would stop and ask directions (yes indeed, talk to a stranger) or use a pay phone (my 20-year-old son has no idea what a pay phone is – true story).  It would  take us 3 or 4 days to reach Central Florida where we were staying with my grandparents in their single wide trailer.   The trip was organized with my grandparents via the Ham Radio Relay system.    Ask me how a conversation went if you’re interested… It was hilarious  “over”.    My folks were too cheap to use long distance (truth be told, it was very expensive and we really only used this bell feature for true emergencies).   Now, when I say organized, I mean – we were expected on one day and departing on another – this was the extent of the agenda.  These were great memories for all of us, truly.  The trip to Florida was talked about for years.   The world seemed pretty big in those days.

Fast forward to 1989 a massive family trip planned to Costa Rica.   On a plane! It was organized through numerous trips to the travel agent that was located in our local mall.

I remember my mom walking into the shop and paying for it with cash because they didn’t take credit cards.   Times change, pretty sure someone might actually faint if we paid for something that big with cash these days.   We had a wonderful time, my mom and dad and I.  We really got to see San Jose, and Jaco Beach before they were commercialized.   My parents loved it so much; they purchased a small villa there.    We made some wonderful friends and were able to stay in touch about once every three months – through the fax machine.   We would write letters and fax them to our friends in Costa Rica, anxiously waiting for a return fax.  We enjoyed many years of Costa Rican hospitality and eventually the faxes were replaced with emails.  The world seemed a little less massive.

While there were many vacations in between the most recent winter of 2018 my husband and I carved a week out of work and traveled to Puerto Vallarta Mexico.   Feeling fed up with the brutal Ottawa winter, I went online – did a little research and within 3 days we were on a plane headed direct, to Mexico.   We had a blast.  It was a wonderful trip; the resort was amazing the weather was everything we could have asked for the drinks were never-ending alongside delicious food.  The resort had free Wi-Fi and we had our devices with us.   We met some really fun, like-minded people; a crazy couple from Saskatoon; whole group of people from Calgary, and another adorable couple from Middleton UK.  Before the week was over we had added everyone to Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter.

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Photo by Tracy Le Blanc on Pexels.com

We even created a Mexico 2018 group on Facebook so we could stay in touch.

Here is a picture I took of a sunset on the beach and some strange sand sculpture.20180124_194051

Whoa… it might not seem like a big deal but on reflection it’s huge.  I have gone from organizing a trip with maps and a ham radio to taking off on a whim and becoming true buddies with people we met for 7 days in Mexico.  We just got wonderful news the couple from Middleton UK are expecting “baby tequila” in October and we already have plans to visit.  The world just seems so much smaller and more accessible.  Even if we don’t get a chance to visit in the next little while – with the ability to like, share and comment we can keep our friendship valid, relevant and have a future.

Social Media has done that for us.

Social Media has also “shrunk “the world in another way; virtual traveling.  There are so many travel bloggers out there.   There is something for everyone!  We can view different parts of our beautiful earth through someone else’s eyes and live their life for a short read.

These are some examples of amazing travel blogs, so the next time you feel the urge to get away, you can click on one of these and enjoy, dream and plan, learn and make new friends along the way.

  • Pete and Dalene are a Canadian couple from Calgary that sold everything in 2009 to travel the world you can read about their life, house sitting and travel. Sadly Darlene is sick right now but their blog has a lot of information to enjoy.  Click here to view their blog.
  • Nicole and Cam, Vancouver couple with 2 children blog about travel stories from all over the world.   They specialize in organizing and planning trips so if you need to be inspired –this is a good one to check out right here.
  • Raymond is a fun read, he likes to add a little wine knowledge into the mix and his version of the world is really entertaining.   To visit Raymonds world click right here.

My thoughts on how to with the Shrinking world – EMBRACE IT!

Social media has also unleashed a crazy amount of travel campaigns, whatever your passion.  You can find it on social media.  Then you can get active and make some friends  before you travel.  So get out there (virtually) and start typing!

Enjoy your vacation.

Let us know – How many hours do you put into planning your vacation?

Facebook   The world is Shrinking find out how to deal with it #travel click here

Twitter  Engage in the Shrinking world #travel #tequila #vacationplans click here

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To Post or Not to Post the Financial Advisors Dilemma

4 Ways to Protect yourself and still be successful!

I have worked for Financial Institutions my entire career.  That is a whopping 25+years of experience and like everything the industry has changed immensely.  Some days its hard to keep up.

If we look at the big picture, the way we bank has changed (back in the day it was bankbooks and ledgers and now, online and mobile access).

The way advisors reach out to their clients has changed significantly too.  When I first started working at a bank in the 90’s  the only way to reach a client was if they walked into the bricks and mortar building or I picked up the phone and called them (not at the office, only at home) and verified them through 3 grilling questions (true story).

Flash forward to 2018 and I can access my clients pretty much any time of the day,  anywhere unless they specifically tell me not to.  The scope is wide; rarely is the phone picked up.  Is it mostly an email or secured message through online portals, they even use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, personal emails, text messages.  What used to be a “bankers hours” career has become an on call situation – but that is for another post.

The situation is this.  The clients want more information, they want more choices and they will do the research to get it.  They read, click, save, forward, share.  They read news posts, blogs, opinion pieces.  The access to information is limitless.  The risks fro the client are;  is the information credible?

The risks for the social media contributing adviors remains; is it compliant?

The industry leaders are very strict around their social media policies.  To the best of my knowledge there is still mostly a hands-off approach unless its initiated corporately.  This means the individual “advisors” won’t engage in any social media activities for fear of being non-compliant.

This leaves a great big giant hole in the internet that independent firms can jump into!  and succeed.

Just follow these FOUR simple guidelines

  1.  Use Social media for branding purposes and extending the reach.  Providing a consistent approach for your customers and prospects.  Get a copy of your employer’s social media policy and make sure you follow it.  Create a network strategy and implement it, and re-evaluate often.  If the budget allows, get a marketing firm that specializes in the regulatory requirement of the industry.  Try this link for a list of the top marketing companies.
  2. Never ever offer advice through your social media.  This is a big one, as an advisor our goal is to get to know our clients before offering advice and that is next to impossible through social media.   This is called Know Your Client (KYC).  Only after a questionnaire and analysis of the answers should an advisor offer advice.  As an alternative – only offer education through social media.  Info graphs like this would be perfect for this.  This one was taken from here.  week1-infobyte-budget-powerful-tool-1024x512
  3. If you are a licensed representative, know the governing bodies (MFDA or IIROC) are watching.  They are routinely scouting and checking for noncompliance.  If you are caught being non compliant (examples of this are promising returns on a Mutual Fund or claiming the principle is guaranteed while is not) the fines can be large, and you can even risk litigation or loss of job.  That is a pretty big price for  few likes and shares.
  4. Offer opinions on industry content, maybe an article or changes to the economy and pieces of information that your clients may find valuable.  Just be sure to make it clear – its an opinion.   Whiles this may not gain you instant business you will be looked at in the community as a professional and when the times comes for that client to look for advice, they will remember you and come asking.

 

At the very least these guidelines will get clients and potential clients recognizing you as a local industry leader and educator.  A leader that can offer advice — when asked.  All they need to do is book a meeting!  After all that is the end goal.  To grow the customer base and truly help others grow their net worth.

Do you have other tips to offer? 

Please share with the community in the comment section below!  

 

http://www.osc.gov.on.ca/en/social-media-guidelines.htm

http://www.aon.com/canada/attachments/thought-leadership/fsg/whitepaper_fsg-MediaLiability_jan15.pdf

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Twitter   Advisors Gain traction on your campaigns but protect yourself #regulatorywarrior  click here (disabled)