Wall Street Invades Silicon Valley

Brokers around the country have woken up to the wealth being created by Silicon Valley IPOs and are busy plotting to get a share of it.

One trade publication for brokers and financial advisors published a kind of “cheat sheet” on big Valley companies, which ends with the suggestion that brokers should become less like the Flintstones, and more like the Jetsons, to be able to talk to these new clients.

Seriously.  We are not making this up. The idea that seeming tech-savvy can be learned from a 1970s cartoon – that will go over well in the Valley. Here’s the link.

We don’t want to pick on the writer (much), but sometimes a detail is very telling. The reference is not only painfully inept, but reveals the cynicism with which the wealth management industry is approaching Silicon Valley companies and their employees whose creations are beginning to pay off.

As we’ve written before, many Wall Street types look down on engineers: Do You Really Want An Advisor Who Thinks You’re Clueless?

Under a breathless headline, “Thousands of Millionaires!” the writer says:,

They are young, wired, savvy consumers without the brand loyalty “issues” that their parents had. They will not hesitate in changing or adding advisors simply to smarten the pot or even create competition. Wealth managers today must engage existing clients inter-generationally and must have a smart client-facing side as well. Potential clients are even more tech-savvy than ever before.  And this trend is expected to continue. The simple question wealth managers should ask themselves about social media platforms is “Why not?” instead of “Why?”

Social media is not a fad and technology is not going away.  Those of you who are “Flintstones” in terms of knowledge, understanding and engagement on these new platforms should make efforts to become “Jetsons.”

The idea that a broker can serve clients well by increasing his or her social media presence to “Jetsons” level is condescending, to say the least. No wonder we are leery of the legion of Wall Streeters descending on the Valley.


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