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Zoomers Looking to the Future

Nov 12, 2013

Guest post by Mike Ronchka

SolarShare recently attended the Zoomer Show in Toronto in order to get a sense of the investment appetite for the group that makes up about 40% of SolarShare membership. The show is Canada's largest consumer show and lifestyle expo for men and women over 45, featuring health and wellness, travel, money, and more. We set up a booth for two days and got a snapshot of what this community is all about.

The population bubble that was the youth market 30 years ago is today, the market Moses Znaimer has defined as ‘Zoomers.’  “They are a growing, vibrant and affluent community. They look at the world with optimism; they are engaged and aspire to enrich their lives and their communities,” says Znaimer. 

We wanted to know what aspects of SolarShare appealed to this group, and conducted a survey with everyone who stopped by to chat. Most attendees were were in favour of renewable energy and sustainability. We came across a couple that had installed solar panels on their own farm decades ago, and many people who were familiar and engaged with the FIT program and recent policy events.

“Both my husband and I were promised solar technology in the 50s and 60s, and when we built our dream house we took the opportunity to incorporate solar panels to help power our home,” said attendee Susan O’Brien. “We considered installing more panels, but with Solar Bonds we can realize solar’s financial benefits without assuming the installation and maintenance costs."

According to a survey by AIG Life and Retirement, 80% of those over 55 say they consider low risk a priority when making an investment decision. This is consistent with the results of SolarShare's survey, where participants chose first security, and then interest rate as the second most attractive aspect in an investment. The 5% interest was definitely an attention-grabber. The "Zoomers" who participated showed interest in low-risk, medium return investment and often cared about the ethical nature or impact of the bond, which allows them to invest in a name of a child or grandchild. At the same time, they can contribute to bright days ahead for future generations to come.