Streetwise: Tech Trends

Digital-Investment Savviness Spans Generations

A significant portion of older investors rely on mobile and digital investing tools

Sept. 1, 2015 –NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–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.

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.

Digitally Savvy

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.

“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:

The belief that only millennials crave digital solutions is dead

  • 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
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
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
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.