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Featured Advisor

Asset Preservation Advisors


State: GA

APA’s philosophy is to work closely with our clients to develop an in-depth understanding of their unique needs and objectives. We then customize a municipal bond portfolio that best meets their specific goals and needs. APA manages high quality municipal bond portfolios in four strategies: Short-Term, Intermediate-Term, High Income, and Taxable.

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401(k) Participants Using Mobile Technology and Tablets

As tablets and smartphones become commonplace, 401(k) participants are using them to obtain financial information.

With 25 percent of 401(k) participants carrying an iPad or similar type of tablet, plan providers need to quickly make sure that their balance information is available on these devices as soon as possible. No longer happy with a quarterly paper statement mailed via snail mail, plan participants are checking financial information and balances regularly. In research conducted by Millionaire Corner this summer with more than 1500 401(k) and defined contribution plan participants it was found that both tablets and Smartphones of various types are used by 401(k) and other defined contribution plan participants regularly. In addition to the 25% that own a tablet of some type, 66 percent own a Smartphone. Participants spend an average of 9.7hours per week on their Smartphones on non-conversation based activities (such as texting and emails) and 12.2 hours per week on their tablets. What types of mobile tools are participants using to access their financial information? The SmartPhone market is fairly disbursed with 39% using an iPhone, 26% using an Android product (e.g., HTC, Desire, Motorola Atrix), and 29% using a Blackberry product (e.g., Curve, Storm) and the remainder using another product. The tablet market is dominated by the Apple iPad in which 81% of tablet users have this product. At the time this research was fielded, however, many of the competitive products were just entering the market. Only a small portion of time spent on mobile devices is currently spent on financial activities on Smartphones and tablets. Only 7.7% of the time spent on Smartphones is spent on financial topics while 13.6% of tablet time is spent on financial issues. It is logical that tablets are used more frequently than Smartphones to research and conduct financial issues merely due to the size of the screen. Ipads and tablets are devices used primarily when individuals are researching or gathering information. In contrast, Smartphones are tools used more frequently when investors are “on the go”. What types of financial activities do plan participants conduct on their Smartphones and tablets? Accessing personal financial accounts is the most common activity performed by plan participants with 62% using their Smartphones for this activity and 78% using their tablet. More than half will pay bills with their Smartphones (53%) and even more paying bills with their tablets (78%). Corresponding with financial advisors of various types has occurred for more than 40% of investors on both their tablets and their Smartphones. As participant account balances increase along with their age they are much more likely to spend more time on their tablets regarding financial issues. Younger participants spend more time on their Smartphones, generally in more transaction based activities. If one can trade their brokerage account via their phone, why not change your 401(k) plan choices via your iPad?