eBusiness, Baby-boomers, and the Fountain of Youth

by Corianna
A few months ago I came across Thrasher Capital Management’s “Demographic Convergence Theory,” or DCT. The Thrasher team is pioneering the DCT as an investment strategy for their fund, GendeX. The DCT is based on three principles:

  1. Gen X- and Y-ers are enjoying increasing spending power.
  2. Gen X- and Y-ers are trend setters, in the eyes of baby boomers.
  3. Baby boomers want to stay young forever, and will use their spending power to emulate Gen-X and Y-ers.

Issues of spending power aside, one of the DCT’s main points is this: baby boomers are open to new things. In fact, the DCT suggests that boomers are more than just receptive; while they may not be first adopters, baby boomers will eagerly use the technologies and gadgets they see younger generations embracing.
While the jury is still out on the merits of the DCT as an investment philosophy, the theory has some interesting general implications, corroborated by recent kasina research for the forthcoming report, What Advisors Do Online. In What Advisors Do Online, we found that while younger generations use the Web for more purposes than their elders, older generations are more active than many–including e-Business teams at asset management firms–might expect. For instance, there is almost a 20% gap between the percentage of 20- 40-year-old and 41- 60-year-old advisors using YouTube (younger advisors are on YouTube more). However, when it comes to using asset manager Web sites for product information, the gap narrows to 2%, with the older demographic reporting a slightly higher usage.
The DCT offers an explanation for these findings, and suggests that the number of baby boomers frequenting YouTube, reading blogs, and using Web 2.0 technologies will only increase as time goes on. e-Business teams and asset managers can take heart as they push forward with new online strategies: their work will touch both the young, and those who want to stay young.

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