Investors make growing use of financial websites, but rely most heavily on advisors
More investors are using the internet to research investments but technology is complementing -- not replacing -- a one-on-one relationship with a financial advisor.
A growing number of Millionaire investors identify their financial advisor as the most important source of information yet also report a growing reliance on the internet to learn about investments, according to a December survey. Forty-five percent of investors with $1 million to $5 million -- not including primary residence -- said their advisor is the most important source of investment information. This is up from 42 percent in 2009 and 36 percent in 2008.
The Millionaires are also turning to the internet in greater numbers. At the end of 2010, 28 percent were visiting financial websites other than those offered by their advisors, up from 16 percent in 2008. Use of financial blogs increased to 5 percent of Millionaires in 2010 from 1 percent in 2008.
“Our research shows that the internet has strengthened the relationship between an investor and advisor,” said Catherine McBreen, president of MillionaireCorner.com. “Predictions that technological services would supplant advisors have not materialized, but investors are using technology to become more informed and to communicate more efficiently with their advisors.”
Increased use of email has also heightened advisor expectations among Millionaires. More than half expect their advisor to return an e-mail within 12 hours, and 57 percent say they would seriously consider leaving an advisor who did not promptly return emails.
Millionaires have also embraced the use of mobile technologies for managing their personal finances. More than half of smart phone users make daily use of the technology for financial purposes. More than 70 percent of Millionaires who download podcasts or participate in webinars use the media for financial purposes. More than 60 percent of Millionaires who use iPads use the tablets to manage their finances.
“Mobile apps are satisfying a growing demand for immediate access to financial information,” McBreen said. “Consumers will now be looking for ways to aggregate the information into one, simple-to-use application.”
Use of downloads, television, the daily financial press and radio has also increased in the wake of the recession, as affluent investors continue to build their financial IQs.