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VOL. 133 | NO. 183 | Friday, September 14, 2018

Dana and Ray Brandon

All Things Digital

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Ray’s Take: It is estimated that by 2020, more than 50 billion Internet-connected devices will be used by 7.8 billion people – doubling the amount of devices per person. This shouldn’t come as shock to any of us. We have all witnessed and been a part of this major digital era.

I’ll be honest, the road to “all things digital” hasn’t been easy for me. My generation did not grow up with iPads, iPhones, iPods or even DVD players. I appreciate the smell, touch and relaxation of holding and reading actual newspapers and books and I still do. But, as with everything in life, times change and the way we access and process information requires us to keep up.

Not only does the move to all things digital affect how we access information, it also changes how you manage your finances. Online banking, finance apps, check processing and online bill pay are things you probably have been or will soon be doing solely through a digital device. At the same time, we remain vigilant that fundamentals do not get lost amidst the glitz. Projections are only as good as the underlying assumptions. All the speed and ease can often mean you jump to the wrong conclusions faster and more easily.

While this change may not be your preference, there are some things I have found to be very positive in this new information age. It cuts down on errors. It’s just a fact that humans make mistakes. I do appreciate the relative ease in getting the answer to just about anything instantly with little effort. Hopefully, it’s the correct answer. I have always enjoyed a cup of coffee and holding a real piece of paper to read. But I did get over losing the Press Scimitar, so time moves on.

This digital age has also cut down on paperwork and paper trails. I don’t miss the days of lugging around a huge briefcase packed with file folders, notes and forms. Having everything online makes organizing and sharing paperwork easy and efficient. But this comes with new protocols for any chance of privacy, and the truth is we must accept that there really is no more privacy. I don’t like that.

Dana’s Take: The best businesses find a way to deliver the speed of digital services plus a high level of personal service. Zappos online clothing store, for example, has no brick and mortar, but when a customer calls, they find a satisfying, personalized solution.

Ray and I recently switched from a national bank with poor service to a locally owned bank with superb service. What a breath of fresh air to walk into the lobby of our bank and find three people offering to help. Honestly, it’s downright shocking, in a good way.

Find a way to shock your customers with personal service plus digital convenience.

Ray Brandon, CEO of Brandon Financial Planning, and his wife, Dana, a licensed clinical social worker, can be reached at brandonplanning.com.

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 139 346 19,792
MORTGAGES 141 337 22,770
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 13 2,935
BUILDING PERMITS 290 657 40,661
BANKRUPTCIES 53 155 12,641
BUSINESS LICENSES 23 56 6,430
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 31 112 7,507
MARRIAGE LICENSES 13 60 4,513