Hesitant to Go Mobile with Investing

A recent study found that while a large percentage of retirement plan participants now own smartphones and tablets, there is still a hesitance to use such technology for investment-related purposes.

Seventy-one percent of participants own smartphones and 57% own tablets, according to a Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner study. These figures are getting close to those for PC/Mac ownership, which is at 79%. Four percent of participants used none of these technologies.

The study found that smartphone usage is nearing PC/Mac usage among participants under the age of 35. Forty-four percent of this group said they would use a smartphone as their primary means of following the news, compared with 46% for PC/Mac use. Four percent said they would choose a tablet as their primary choice.

The study found that both age groups were hesitant to use their smartphones for getting information on financial products and services. Sixty-six percent of participants under age 35 said they would use their PC/Mac, compared with just 16% using their smartphone. Older investors were found to be more likely to use a PC/Mac (68%), followed by 11% preferring tablets and 4% preferring to use smartphones.

In terms of corresponding with a financial adviser, the study found that 28% of the under-35 group were willing to use their smartphone, while only 7% of the 50-and-over group would do so. With the older group, only 2% preferred to use a tablet for this.

When it comes to buying and selling investments via mobile technologies, only 14% of participants under 35 would use their smartphone to conduct investment transactions. That number dropped to 6% among participants ages 35 to 49, and to 4% among participants age 50 and over.

For getting financial market updates, 18% of participants age 35 and older would use a smartphone, while 10% preferred using a tablet.

Of participants age 50 and over, 54% said a PC/Mac would be their primary choice for news, compared with 18% preferring a tablet and 13% preferring a smartphone.

When it comes to accessing personal account information via mobile technology, 34% of participants under 35 said they would use their smartphone, while only 14% age 50 and over would do so and 11% of this age group would use their tablet.