As financial advisors develop their strategies for using technology to engage with investors, they will find an increasingly receptive client base, according to new Millionaire Corner research.
Nearly all wealthy households already are using their computers to access personal financial account information and pay their bills, and 90 percent are using their devices to conduct investment research.
Advisors, reports Financial Planning magazine, are being encouraged to no longer consider social media, apps, tablet computers and smartphones as fringe technology: “While older Americans are in fact buying iPads and setting uyp Facebook pages in greater numbers, their kids, the so called Gen X and Gen Y set who constitute the next wave of investors, are already there, natively. They’ll expect their advisors to be, too.”
A third of Mass Affluent households with a net worth between $100,000 and $1 million, are on their computers between 21-40 hours per week. The wealthiest households are more likely than lesser wealth segments to spend over 40 hours a week on their screens. Currently, affluent households spend less than a quarter of their time online for financial information activities, but that is certain to increase as even older investors become more computer savvy. It is already the third most popular activity on their computer following sending and retrieving emails and accessing the news.
Computer use for financial activities increases with wealth, our survey found. Sixty-three percent of households with a net worth between $100,000 and $1 million (not including primary residence) use their computers for financial goal planning compared with nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of households with a net worth between $5 million and $25 million, Similarly, 54 percent of Mass Affluent investors go online to correspond with their financial advisor or provider vs. 80 percent of the Ultra High Net Worth households.
The wealthiest households would most like to see their financial advisor expand their website’s offerings to include articles or research on financial topics and products (63 percent), comprehensive service or product information (50 percent), benchmarking against investment returns (51 percent), information on alternative investments such as hedge funds and REITs (43 percent), and webinars and podcasts about financial topics (25 percent).
Financial firms are investing more effort into their technological offerings. Financial Planning cites CLS Investments, an independent third-party money manager, which hosts a weekly market commentary on its website which it promotes through mobile apps and QR codes that users can scan with a smartphone to navigate to the content.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.