E*TRADE Study Shows Digital Savviness Spans Generations

Survey shows that a significant portion of older investors rely on mobile and digital investing tools

(Graphic: Business Wire)

NEW YORK--()--E*TRADE Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:ETFC) today announced results from the most recent wave of StreetWise, E*TRADE’s quarterly tracking study of experienced investors. Results show that Gen X (age 35-54) and Baby Boomers (age 55+) are digitally savvy:

  • More than two out of three Gen X investors and more than half of all Boomers surveyed categorize mobile trading as “critical.”
  • Half of all Gen X and one-third of all Boomers surveyed plan to use their mobile devices more often to manage their portfolios in the next year.
  • More than a third of Gen X and about a quarter of Boomers surveyed use an investing and trading app at least once a week.

Furthermore, the survey reveals that both of these generations prefer online tools over in-person advice when it comes to saving for the long term. More than three-quarters of Gen X and Boomers surveyed also prefer a broker that is more like R2D2, who comes to their aid with a variety of helpful tools, over one like C3PO, who provides a focused skillset and primarily offers advice.

“The belief that only millennials crave digital solutions is dead,” said Kunal Vaed, SVP of Digital Channels at E*TRADE Financial. “Gen X and Boomers show significant digital savviness as well. Today, investors of all ages gravitate toward brokers that offer a full suite of digital tools — from desktop to smartphone, and now even the watches on our wrists.”

Mr. Vaed offered the following insights on the recent rise of Gen X and Boomer digital adoption:

  • Investors crave the direct model. In the wake of the global financial crisis, older investors may be less satisfied with the value they have received from traditional broker relationships and now seek tools to help them manage their finances themselves.
  • Investors interact with digital every day — in almost everything they do. As experiences like Facebook, Amazon, and Uber increasingly become a daily part of consumers’ lives, investors are demanding similar experiences from their broker.
  • Today’s mobile and digital landscape offers so much more. Bandwidth has expanded exponentially, connecting consumers more than ever before. With greater processing power and bigger screens, smartphones have advanced to become a critical channel for rich investing experiences, including asset allocation tools, intelligent education, and complex trade executions.

Mr. Vaed continued, “Clearly, digital channels are critical for today’s investor, but that is not the end of the story. Investors now seek the hybrid model — one defined by an exceptional experience online and supported by guidance and help when they need it, either virtually or in person.”

For the full report of the Q315 StreetWise study results, click here.

E*TRADE helps investors balance today’s needs with tomorrow’s goals, through pioneering digital tools and personalized, smart guidance online and from seasoned financial consultants. To learn more about E*TRADE’s trading and investing platforms and tools, visit etrade.com.

For useful insight from E*TRADE and third-party investment professionals, follow the company on Twitter, @ETRADE.

About E*TRADE Financial

E*TRADE Financial and its subsidiaries provide financial services, including online brokerage and banking products and services to retail customers. Specific business segments include Trading and Investing and Balance Sheet Management. Securities products and services, including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, options, and ETFs are offered by E*TRADE Securities LLC (Member FINRA/SIPC). Managed Account Solutions are offered through E*TRADE Capital Management, LLC, an investment adviser registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Bank products and services are offered by E*TRADE Bank, a Federal savings bank, Member FDIC, or its subsidiaries and affiliates. More information is available at www.etrade.com.


About ResearchNow

ResearchNow, a leading digital data collection provider, powers market research insights. They enable companies to listen to and interact with the world’s consumers and business professionals through online panels, as well as mobile, digital, and social media technologies. Their team operates in over 20 offices globally and is recognized as the market research industry’s leader in client satisfaction. They foster a socially-responsible culture by empowering their employees to give back. To find out more or begin a conversation, visit www.researchnow.com.

About the Survey

This wave of the survey was conducted from July 1 to July 12 of 2015 among an online U.S. sample of 1004 self-directed active investors who manage at least $10,000 in an online brokerage account. The survey has a margin of error of ±3.1 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. It was fielded and administered by ResearchNow. The tracking study fields quarterly at the beginning of each quarter and does not reflect data from the complete quarter. The panel is broken into thirds of active (trade more than once a week), swing (trade less than once a week but more than once a month), and passive (trade less than once a month) investors. The panel is 65 percent male and 35 percent female with an even distribution across online brokerages (including E*TRADE and its peers), geographic regions, and age bands.

Referenced Data

To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements?

**The ability to monitor my investments and execute trading decisions on the go is critical to me. **

  TOTAL   AGE: 25-34   AGE: 35-54   AGE: 55+
% Agree/Strongly Agree 63% 72% 68% 54%
**I plan to use my mobile device to manage my portfolio more frequently in the next year. **
TOTAL AGE: 25-34 AGE: 35-54 AGE: 55+
% Agree/Strongly Agree   48%   69%   50%   33%
Approximately how often do you use an investing and trading financial app on your smart phone?
TOTAL AGE: 25-34 AGE: 35-54 AGE: 55+
Once a week or more 35% 51% 37% 24%
2-3 times each month 9% 14% 11% 5%
About once per month 6% 7% 7% 5%
Less than once per month 9% 7% 10% 9%

I do not have/use an investing/trading app

  41%   21%   35%   57%

And which of the following do you find most helpful when it comes to saving for retirement?
(Select all that apply)

TOTAL AGE: 25-34 AGE: 35-54 AGE: 55+

Staying up-to-date on the markets and my
investments through research and the news

58% 47% 56% 66%

Using online tools to determine how much you
need to save each month to retire the way
you want to

37% 42% 40% 34%
Talking with an investment professional 32% 33% 32% 32%
Attending in-person seminars on smart investing 17% 17% 16% 17%

Watching online tutorials or videos on how to save
for retirement

15% 18% 14% 14%
Other   2%   2%   1%   4%

Which of the following characters better represents the type of relationship you want with your

TOTAL AGE: 25-34 AGE: 35-54 AGE: 55+

R2D2. A copilot with a diverse skillset that comes
to your aid when you need him, offering a variety
of helpful tools.

75% 72% 75% 78%

C-3PO. A constant companion with a focused set
of skills that will always offer you advice.

  25%   28%   25%   22%

Important Notices

E*TRADE Financial, E*TRADE, and the E*TRADE logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of E*TRADE Financial Corporation.

© 2015 E*TRADE Financial Corporation. All rights reserved.

E*TRADE Financial Corporation and ResearchNow are separate companies that are not affiliated. E*TRADE Financial Corporation engages ResearchNow to program, field, and tabulate the study.


E*TRADE Media Relations
Thayer Fox, 646-521-4418
E*TRADE Investor Relations
Brett Goodman, 646-521-4406


E*TRADE Media Relations
Thayer Fox, 646-521-4418
E*TRADE Investor Relations
Brett Goodman, 646-521-4406