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The Most Popular Mobile Devices Used by Advisors at RIA Firms



Written by: RIA in a Box

Advisors at registered investment adviser (RIA) firms, much like their clients, are using the internet for business and personal use, and they are using a variety of platforms and devices. When used properly, electronic communication is a beneficial platform to interface with clients and network with peers. This is not to say that communication over electronic devices is seamless; as there are potential compliance violations when not used properly. This post outlines the most popular mobile devices being used by advisors at RIA firms based on RIA in a Box’s web site and social media traffic data as of July 21, 2015.

Based on our data, the two dominant mobile platforms being used by advisors at RIA firms are Apple iOS and Google Android. However, the iOS platform has a significant lead over the Android platform (77.7% vs. 22.3% penetration).

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RIA iPhone vs. Android usage

 From there, we look deeper into iOS usage by actual type of iPhone device:

IPhone usage by financial advisors

By far, the most popular iPhone device (and overall smart phone device) for advisors at RIA firms is the iPhone 6 (42.3% of iPhone users), but not necessarily all versions of the 6; as the iPhone 5S (26.7%) has more adoption than the iPhone 6 Plus (12.0%). Interesting enough, the iPhone 5C (0.1%) falls below the iPhone 4 (2.3%), with the iPhone 3GS (0%) claiming the lowest amount of viewers. The famous iPhone is not the only popular Apple device among advisors, as the iPad also delivers a considerable amount of traffic as well.

Below is traffic break-down for advisors utilizing an iPad device:

iPad usage by financial advisors

Unlike the iPhone, iPad usage by advisors is fairly scattered between newer and older device models. Many advisors are still utilizing older iPad devices having seemingly not felt the need to upgrade. However, it’s also important to note that the use of iOS and Android smart phone devices far exceeds advisor use of iPad devices.

Android users favor a variety of devices with Samsung holding a sizable lead followed by HTC, and finally Motorola.The break down of Android device usage by manufacturer is as follows:

Samsung Galaxy usage by financial advisors


HTC usage by RIA firms

Droid usage by financial advisors

There are many options when operating an Android system. The most popular Android device used by advisors is the Samsung Galaxy S5 followed by the Samsung Galaxy S4. The Motorola Droid Ultra is also a favored device for advisors. In comparison to all other mobile and tablet devices, views from a Blackberry device was so few that we have omitted it from our data charts. 

Given the increased mobile device usage by advisors at RIA firms to conduct business, it’s important for all advisory firms to consider the extent to which the firms’ clients may be looking to utilize mobile devices themselves. Interacting with clients electronically creates additional compliance and cyber security considerations that should always be top of mind for RIA firms of all sizes.

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