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Older High Net Worth Investors Prefer Tablets Over Smartphones Significantly, Spectrem Study Reveals

Ownership of tablets and smartphones nearly equal among high net worth investors, but older generation prefer tablets

| BY Kent McDill

They are never going to catch up to their younger cohorts, but older high net worth investors are using mobile technology more frequently, and prefer tablets to smartphones, a Spectrem Group Millionaire Corner study shows.

Among all investors surveyed, 65 percent own a tablet and 62 percent have smartphones. Those numbers are dramatically higher than two years ago, when only 20 percent of investors had tablets and 39 percent had snartphones.

The study was for investors with net worth of $5 to $25 million, not including primary residence (NIPR). The information was released by Spectrem in June, 2013. There were five age groups, the youngest being under 35 and the oldest being 65 and older.  

The 65 and older crowd matches the tablet ownership at 65 percent, but only 52 percent have smartphones. PC/Mac usage among all investors is at 86 percent, and 84 percent of the 65 and older high net worth investors use personal computers.

The older generation of high net worth investors follows the average trend for using mobile technology for news, with 17 percent using their tablets and 6 percent using their smartphones for that purpose. The overall averages were 18 percent for tablets and 9 percent for smartphones.

But the 65 and olders are using their tablets for financial information more than the average investor. The overall total is 11 percent, while the 65 and olders report 13 percent usage for that purpose. Smartphones fall behind in financial information retrieval, at just 3 percent overall and among the older group.

There is very little mobile technology usage reported for corresponding with financial professionals, or buying and selling investments. Any investor doing that sort of thing electronically is far more likely to do it on their PC/Mac.

But investors are using mobile technology more frequently for checking account balances and getting market updates, and smartphones are actually getting more usage for market updates than tablets, even among the 65 and older generation. Overall, smartphones are used by 22 percent of investors for market updates, and the 65-plus reports 19 percent usage, while tablets are 14 percent overall and 13 percent among the older generation.

The older generation does not like to use mobile technology for bill payment as much as others. Sixty percent of the 65 and older group says they never use mobile technology for bill payment, while the overall total was 52 percent who never do it. Likewise, 65 percent of the 65 and older group says they don’t text their advisors at all while 56 percent of the overall group reports they don’t text their financial experts.

The bottom line to the report for older investors is that they really prefer their tablets to tablets and are on them frequently. Among tablet users, 17 percent of the 65 and older group reported using the tablet 11 to 15 hours per week, and that was the highest percent among all the age groups in that usage category. 

About the Author

Kent McDill


Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for www.nba.com. He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.

In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.

McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.

McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy  Buffett and all things Disney.