A growing number of wealthy investors have been using their smart phones and tablets to check on their finances and to network, according to a recent study by Spectrem that underscores the growing importance of having a strong online presence in the advisory space.

“At the top of wealthy investors’ app wish-list is the ability to aggregate their financial information from multiple sources,” George Walper, president of Spectrem, said.

Tablet use among the affluent has taken off in the past year as 34% of mass affluent investors with over $100,000 in net worth and 37% of millionaire investors who have started using the device. The highest concentration of tablet users was the ultra-high net worth category (with at least $5 million in assets), among whom 41% had a tablet. An average of 18% of all categories reported using a tablet last year.

The popularity of mobile devices has grown as older investors adopt new technologies and younger generations who have grown up around the internet move into the upper wealth echelons.

"Not surprisingly, younger wealthy investors have adopted social media and mobile technologies more quickly and in greater numbers than older affluent investors, as have senior corporate executives and business owners compared to other professions. But use is increasing at all ages and occupations," Walper, said.

Affluent clients are spending their time on their new tablets in a number of ways from paying bills and checking their finances to posting social media updates. According to the survey, mass affluent investors spend 9.4 hours a week on their phones, not talking or texting. Millionaire investors spent around 10 hours on their phones and ultra-high net worth investors spent an average of seven hours. All groups spent nearly 12 hours on their tablets a week.

That time has increasingly been spent on social media sites, according to the survey. Forty-seven percent of ultra-high net worth investors are on Facebook, and 32% are on LinkedIn. Only 8% of the ultra-high net worth, however, were on twitter. Twitter was the most popular among the mass affluent, of whom 10% reported tweeting.

“Few wealthy investors rely more on social media than traditional media for financial information, but that situation is likely to shift as younger investors enter the wealthy ranks,” noted Walper.

Spectrem conducted the survey during the second quarter and interviewed 1,428 mass affluent, 1619 millionaire and 408 ultra-high net worth investors about their mobile technology use.

For more on what that means when connecting with clients, check out the top 10 ways mobile technology has changed the game.

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