There’s an App for That


 Over the past several years companies have embraced the idea that it is necessary to have an app, not just a website.  Regardless of the industry, it has been commonplace to see businesses develop robust apps. There are apps for just about every aspect of someone’s life, from social media apps to apps that improve productivity, provide news, and those apps that address various components of someone’s life such as exercise, food, music, etc. The financial industry has many apps that address various components of an investor’s financial life as well. There are financial apps to assist with budgeting, financial planning, and trading and investing. Which of these apps are the most commonly used among younger investors, the investors that are most likely to embracing this platform?

Spectrem Group recently researched what types of apps or systems younger wealthy investors use for monthly budgeting, financial planning, and investing and trading and there are some very interesting differences between Millennials and Gen X investors when it comes to app usage. The most commonly used app for budgeting is actually not just an app. Forty-seven percent of Millennials and 40 percent of Gen X investors use Excel for monthly budgeting. Goodbudget is used by 23 percent of Millennials, but only 13 percent of Gen X investors for monthly budgeting. Quicken was utilized by 21 percent of Millennials, while EveryDollar and Pocket Guard were the app used by 18 percent and 17 percent of Millennials for monthly budgeting respectively. It is worth nothing that a third of Gen X investors do not use any app or tracking system for budgeting purposes. Forty-three percent of wealthy investors with a net worth between $100,000-$1M in net worth also do not use any app or tracking system for budgeting. Over half of investors with a net worth between $5M-$25M use Excel for budgeting and over a quarter use Quicken and Goodbudget.

Financial planning is another area where fewer Gen X investors are utilizing the various apps available than Millennials, as 44 percent of Gen X investors do not use any app or platform for financial planning purposes. That percentage may be possible because they could be having their financial advisor provide the financial planning, or they may simply not be focusing on financial planning. Mint, Quicken, and eMoney are the three most commonly used apps or platforms that Millennials are using for financial planning services. Given that Mint and Quicken are used by Millennials for budgeting, it is not surprising that they feel they are utilizing those platforms for financial planning. The depth of the financial plan was not researched, however. Sixty percent of investors with a net worth between $100,000-$1M do not use any platform or app for financial planning. In contrast, over 30 percent of those investors with a net worth between $5M-$25M use Personal Capital and Mint for financial planning purposes.

The final topic Spectrem researched regarding app usage was apps that are used for investing or trading. Among the wealthier investor segments the most commonly used apps for investing and trading are Stash and Robinhood, with Stash being the most common among the wealthier investor segments. Stash is also the most common app for investing and trading purposes among Millennials and Gen X investors. Forty-two percent of Gen X investors do not use any app for investing or trading purposes, while only 10 percent of Millennials are not using some type of app for investing and trading.

The wide variety of apps that are available for many different financial topics investors have a multitude of options when it comes to finding the app that works best for their unique situation. It is helpful and convenient to find an app that could meet multiple financial needs for investors, but it is imperative that investors ensure the app addresses all of the unique needs of each investor.