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Advisers and iPads: Signs of a tipping point?

Apr 11, 2012 @ 12:01 am

By Mark Bruno

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(Photo: Bloomberg)
We have seen all the surveys about financial advisers' usage of the iPad. We've even written about some of them, suggesting that while advisers have been slow to embrace Apple's tablet device (relative to the “typical” consumer), the iPad has the potential to transform workflow and communication in the advice business. That transformational point certainly has not been passed, but at InvestmentNews, we are in a unique position to monitor financial advisers' adoption of the iPad — and all other mobile devices, for that matter. Last month, we noticed a fairly significant development in the digital behaviors and habits of advisers on our site: In March, iPads were responsible for directing more visits to than any other mobile device — surpassing all smartphones and other mobile devices for the first time. Roughly 36% of our mobile visits came from the iPad in March, compared with roughly 35% from the iPhone, which came in as No. 2 for mobile traffic sources. (Note to Apple: If the financial adviser is a desirable target, you clearly have a pretty good handle on this market.). And overall, total iPads visits to have doubled in the last year. Why is this significant? It comes at a time when mobile visits overall are at an all-time high for InvestmentNews, with roughly 12% of our visits coming from tablets, smartphones and BlackBerrys last month. Last March, by comparison, mobile devices accounted for just 5% of our total site visits. So in less than one year, our audience — you, the financial adviser — has accessed our content twice as frequently from mobile devices. And the iPad — no surprise — has been the fastest-growing mobile device and is responsible for the lion's share of this increase. We don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. You're voting with your fingers — and your fingers seem to be increasingly prone to swiping versus clicking these days. The iPad may not have wholly changed the advice business — yet — but it is clearly changing the way you consume content, and presumably the way you connect with clients and colleagues. More providers have been rolling out or updating iPad apps of late, as Davis Janowski has chronicled for us over the last month specifically in blog posts about Merrill Edge, Personal Capital, Franklin Templeton and Oppenheimer Funds. As more and more apps are introduced, the way advisers use them will inevitably change, and that will lead fairly rapidly to new ways of doing business. We'd like to know how your iPad is helping you to innovate. Below is a short, four-question survey that will take you 30 seconds or less to complete. If you have an iPad, what apps do you really use in your professional life? We'll reveal the results in our next INTech newsletter in May.
Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world's leading questionnaire tool.


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