In 1999, we founded Westover Capital as an independent financial advisory firm to build relationships, implement sound investment strategies, and become trusted partners for our clients. At that time, roughly 4% of the world’s population had access to the internet, and the idea of social media as we know it today was a distant but burgeoning possibility.
The Rise of Internet Access and Social Media
The early 2000s saw exponential growth in internet access and, along with it, brand new ways to leverage global technology. Companies like LinkedIn (2002), Facebook (2004), and Twitter (2006) began to define how we interact with one another on a daily basis and are as ubiquitous in our culture as the internet itself.
Early users of these platforms included individuals who wanted to stay in touch, celebrities who wanted to stay in the public eye, and cutting-edge retailers looking to promote their brands. Eventually, social media entered the mainstream, with everyone from Fortune 500 companies to the President of the United States staking out space in a sea of hashtags and status updates.
Social Media and the Financial Industry
Conservative by nature, the financial industry was slower than most to adopt social media as a way to communicate with clients, prospective clients, and the public in general. The biggest driver for this was compliance. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has very specific rules about the way financial advisors can share information and promote their services, and there can be very steep penalties when the rules are not followed. These regulations continue to evolve as the SEC and other agencies struggle to keep up with the blistering pace of change afforded by new technologies.
At Westover, we recognize that our diverse audience wishes to receive and digest information in different ways, whether it be by email, a phone call, a blog article, or a face-to-face meeting. We are excited to announce that we are embracing social media as a way to responsibly communicate our best thinking on issues of the day and interact on a regular basis with our clients. During volatile markets and heavy news cycles, we will be able to share our thoughts and opinions on the drivers of events that affect the economy and our lives.
While social media will never replace direct communication and the foundation of trust we’ve built individually with each of our clients, this initiative allows us to reach clients and colleagues through multiple channels in the ways they prefer. Be sure to follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn!