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Mobile Financial App Users More Likely to Report Big Returns: Fidelity

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A study released by Fidelity early Tuesday shows that investors using mobile financial applications outperform their low-tech counterparts. The research also finds that a large number use these mobile apps in the bedroom (65%), office (68%) and in front of the TV (77%).

Fidelity’s Mobile Money Study, which polled about 1,200 investors with more than $50,000 of investable assets, finds that close to 70% of those trading with mobile apps feel this gives them an advantage over other investors.

Supporting this sentiment is the finding that more than 40% of frequent users of financial apps says they’ve had a return on their investments of more than 20% in the past 12 months vs. just 22% of less-frequent users.

“In the past year, investors increased mobile trades at Fidelity more than 40%, and our survey found that more than one-third of mobile traders make trade decisions on the spur of the moment, capitalizing on investing opportunities from their screen, anywhere,” said Velia M. Carboni, senior vice president of Fidelity’s mobile channel, in a statement.

The Fidelity survey shares that more than half of those polled (56%) perform sophisticated investing tasks on mobile financial apps. These tasks include conducting technical research and charting (43%), doing fundamental research and reading analyst reports (44%) and trading at least once a month (41%).

More than half (53%) say they placed their first mobile trade over the past 12 months.

Location, Location, Location

Investors use financial apps on their mobile devices for basic tasks like checking account balances (71%) and paying bills online (53%).

Where they tend to such mundane activities, though, is more diverse than might be expected.

The Fidelity research uncovered the following: 65% of mobile users say they use financial apps in the bedroom, 49% in the car, 35% at the dinner table and 10% on the golf course.

The most popular location for mobile users is in front of the television.

New Releases

To keep up with these trends, Fidelity says it “continues to enhance its mobile brokerage apps, and its mobile NetBenefits app, for managing workplace savings and benefits plans.

Next week, its iPhone, iPad and Android brokerage apps will be updated to include multi-leg option (MLO) trading; option chain enhancements; extended hours for all trading; positions visible as tax lots; margin trading in IRA accounts; improved balance displays; and trading of specific shares for stocks and ETFs.

In other news, Fidelity Investments said on Monday that American Airlines (AAL) selected it as the provider of 401(k) retirement services to American’s plan participants, beginning in mid-2015.

The five-year agreement will cover about 120,000 participants.

Fidelity has handled retirement services for US Airways, which merged with American in December, since 1993.

“Fidelity has both the people in place and the innovative technologies needed to manage plans the size of American’s, which will have assets under administration of about $14 billion,” said Steve Patterson, executive vice president of sales for Fidelity Investments, in a press release.

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