2 minute read

The Virtual Revolution

If people can date & bank online, then surely, they will do their financial & estate planning online! Read more on the virtual revolution according to Derek Notman.

Derek Notman

Derek Notman, @DerekNotmanCFP

CFP & Founder, Conneqtor


Human nature, you can’t fight it so embrace it.

People are creatures of habit.  When we get in the routine of doing something then it is very hard for us to stop doing it, until the world around us changes and we find a better way.  We are then motivated to make a change.

The megatrend of the last 20 years

Since the late 90’s there has been a massive trend shift.  Human behavior has actually changed in the last 20 or so years as part of this megatrend.  And that’s just what megatrends are, major macro shifts that happen on a global scale.  We can’t fight them, they just happen.

Since the tech boom, bubble, and burst of the late 90’s and early 2000’s people have come to do things differently.

Are society shifted due to technological improvements that had a direct impact on how we go about living our lives.  For example, Amazon started in 1995.  Netflix started in 1997.  eHarmony started in 2000.  By 2000 80% of US banks offered eBanking.  We’ve even Zooming since they started back in 2011, a full decade already!

The point here is that how we conduct our personal and professional lives shifted, drastically.  We still want to rent movies, do our banking, meet our soul mate, and so on but how we do it changed.  Thus, human behavior changed.

We can’t ignore or fight it.  The masses have spoken.  The way people want to do things has changed.  The key here is that the industries serving people need to be paying attention to this massive shift.  Most have, but not all.  Some may become dinosaurs, but some have taken ideas as old as dirt and transformed them.

The consumer has spoken

Clearly given the facts of the megatrend we have all experienced we now know that what people want hasn’t really changed, but how they want it has evolved.

One of the tricks for businesses to stay in business is that they listen to what the consumer is saying.  Not so much their words but their actions.  People are online.  People are shopping, dating, banking, etc. online.  And the number of people doing so is only increasing.

Actions speak louder than words.

Either we listen, adapt & evolve, or we become obsolete.  The only difference between us and the dinosaurs is that we have a choice about our extinction as businesses serving human kind.

The Virtual Revolution for Estate & Financial Services

As I mentioned in my previous article, the estate and financial services industries are usually some of the last to evolve.  But there are outliers here.  The challenge is that these industries are old, old as dirt, and that evolving and adapting to changes in human behavior are in direct battle with the status quo of these industries.

The are a lot of outliers helping push it forward.  For example, outliers like Trust & Will and Conneqtor.

Getting one’s estate planning done has forever been something most people dreaded.  We had to find an attorney, go to their office, pay a retainer (gulp), and then get a stack of paperwork (our estate plan) after a couple of meetings.  Trust & Will disrupted this, empowering people to do their estate planning from the comfort of their own home at a very affordable price point.  Conneqtor has done something similar for financial advisors, helping them build their advisory practice with concepts, ideas, and tactics from present day, not 1985!

How did these and other outliers know these new ways would work, that people would be receptive and embrace them?  Because the consumer had already shown us (remember, their actions?) it was what they wanted.  

Some (dinosaurs) have questioned it all.  “Will people really do their estate planning virtually?”  “Will people really do their financial, investment, and insurance planning virtually?”  Nothing wrong in questioning these things but when those asking the questions answer them with an unequivocal “no” and ignore the world we live in for the one we used to live in we face a whole net set of challenges that we have brought upon ourselves.

Growing Pains Are Good

People are slow to change, until they aren’t.  Change happens and when it does it’s fast.  Sure, growing pains come from change, but that’s OK as it also signals growth.  Growth is good.  This is how we learn.  This is how we better serve our customers.  This is how we drive humanity forward in a positive manner.  

I am encouraged to see the estate and financial services industries going through these growing pains, at the end of the day we all benefit this way, at least those of us open to the changes already happening.

What are you doing to embrace change?  Have you considered a revolution for your business, for how you serve your clients?  Perhaps now is that time.

Sending positive vibes your way,

Derek Notman


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