Mobile technology is fairly pervasive among affluent investors, whether it be a smartphone or a tablet or E-reader. How affluent investors use those devices for financial matters differs depending on the age and wealth level of the investor.
Spectrem’s wealth segmentation series study Using Social Media and Mobile Technology in Financial Decisions discussed mobile technology uses among affluent investors, looking at three wealth segments: Mass Affluent (with a net worth between $100,000 and $1 million), Millionaire (with a net worth between $1 million and $5 million) and Ultra High Net Worth (with a net worth between $5 million and $25 million).
In terms of smartphones, more than 70 percent of affluent investors own one. Ownership is highest among Mass Affluent investors, with 75 percent having one, while only 71 percent of Millionaires and Ultra High Net Worth investors do so.
When it comes to tablets or e-readers, ownership is highest among the wealthiest investors, with 70 percent of UHNW investors owning one, down to just 64 percent of Mass Affluent investors.
Smartphones are a communication device that can also replace the personal computer for information gathering. The tablet is a more mobile form of the personal computer. But both new technology forms offer a service that can impact a relationship with a financial advisor: the video-chat.
Forty-four percent of UHNW investors are willing to video-chat with their financial advisor on their tablet, and 34 percent are willing to do so on their smartphone. Many investors prefer video-chat conversations to a telephone conversation because video-chat seems more direct thanks to the face-to-face component.
An interesting aside to the video-chat topic is that only 13 percent of UHNW investors want to be able to text their financial advisor from their smartphone or tablet, even though texting has replaced phone conversations in many other relationships today.
While smartphones and tablets have not yet replaced personal computers in terms of usage time, the Spectrem study shows that they are used most often for obtaining market updates, corresponding with a financial professional and getting regular news updates.
The other consideration for firms dealing with investors who want to function through the use of mobile technology is the need to develop an app for smartphone use. While smartphones can access websites, many smartphone users prefer to go to apps because they function and present information differently.
Among Millionaire investors, for example, 23 percent said they preferred using apps to visiting websites (31 percent preferred websites). Among those who preferred apps, 64 percent say they get their information more quickly on an app, and 21 percent information is easier to understand when presented in app form.
Most investors who prefer websites say they like to be able to navigate the entire site and not be limited by the information in an app.