Apple of Their Eye: iPads, iPhones Favorites of Advisors, Survey Finds

BlackBerry lags in popularity for financial advisors who want to go mobile

Financial advisors polled by Aite Group said they preferred using iPads and iPhones over BlackBerry devices, according to a report released Thursday.

The survey of 402 advisors found that 45% would choose an Apple iPad (26%) or iPhone (, while 15% percent would pick an Android phone and 14% a BlackBerry for their mobile communications–if their firms gave them the chance to switch technology. At present, some 30% of advisors carry a Blackberry, 24% an iPhone, 17% an Android phone and 10% an iPad.

“Wealth management firms are clearly late to the game, and most firms still struggle to define a fitting mobile strategy,” said Alois Pirker, research director with Aite Group and author of the report, in a statement.

“At a time when switching firms has become a frequent occurrence for financial advisors, wealth management firms must be sure to understand advisors’ technological needs in order to retain valued producers,” continued Pirker.

The study, based on research conducted in March, found that using mobile devices was increasingly important to advisers, many of whom service clients who have hand-held devices and online access brokerage services.

Nearly half the advisors surveyed, or 43%, said having mobile access to business applications was “important" or "very important" to them in 2011. About one-third, or 33%, stated that they were “neutral” in mobile technology, and 23% said the IT issue was of little or no importance to them.

“While consumers have been rapidly adopting smartphones and tablets for several years, financial advisors remain largely unable to access their business applications when away from their desks,” said Aite Group in a press release.

“Many wealth management firms have realized that these devices are a must for financial advisors, who need to access client and prospect data, market information, and portfolio and performance details outside of the office,” the report stated. “Firms cognizant of this need are developing mobile strategies that consider which advisor applications should be made accessible and which mobile platforms should be supported.”

It continued, “At a time when switching firms has become a frequent occurrence for financial advisors, wealth management firms must be sure to understand advisors’ technological needs in order to retain valued producers.”

In July, Fidelity Investments announced that advisors who use the firm’s WealthCentral technology platform can begin making trades with a new iPhone and Android application.

TD Ameritrade Institutional said in April that Veo Mobile for iPads could be used by RIAs custodying their assets with the firm to access client account data in addition to real-time market data, news and alerts.

And Raymond James said it was moving to let its advisors work and access client accounts on iPads and similar laptops during its national conference in May.

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