Internet Impact

Veres, Bob
September 2002
Journal of Financial Planning;Sep2002, Vol. 15 Issue 9, p34
Academic Journal
This article discusses the impact of the Internet on the financial planning profession in the U.S. as of September 2002. There are several changes brought about by the three major communications innovations of the past five centuries. The first, which has been studied in depth by historians, is the invention of the printing press in late 15th century Europe. Interestingly enough, the first woodcut presses were originally used to print playing cards, which had become the rage in Europe's high societies. It took a while for somebody to think of creating moveable type and use the transfer of ink on paper as a way to replace scribes. The next major communications innovation was radio, which became the dominant entertainment medium of the first half of the 20th century. Then came television, which Marshall McLuhan labeled as a cool, almost hypnotic medium--and interestingly enough, there have been no global wars since its widespread use in the developed nations. There are several ways in which the Internet is different from the other communications innovations. First, it is not a hypnotic, passive medium. Also, the Internet is making it possible for specialist practitioners to market their services to a broad array of professionals--and for professionals to access their services in real time. Finally, the Internet has completed a trend that has been going on for some years, and which may finally be reaching its logical conclusion--with some very interesting implications for financial advisors.


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