The Winning Combination for Smart Investors

Savvy investors find the formula for success includes staying current with news and account information along with professional advice, PNC survey reveals. 

By Rich Ramassini

To take more control of your finances, take advantage of the mobile and online tools that are available as well as the expertise of a professional investment adviser.

In the eighth PNC Perspectives of Retirement Survey, we learned investors are embracing the 24/7 flow of information about their financial lives. Six out of 10 believe the amount and speed of info from online channels helps them feel in touch and in control of their lives compared to the one in 10 who feel overwhelmed.

partnership, digital devices, security
Digitally connected investors value: Partneriship - Digital Devices - Security

Stay Connected: Online and Mobile

On average, our survey found investors spend 2.7 hours per week digitally connecting to their finances. The most “digitally connected” among successful savers average 3 hours, 42 minutes per week looking at financial info online or a smartphone.

Of the 45 percent who feel “very connected,” nearly half look at financial headlines every day and half use a mobile app connected to their investment accounts. More than a third of these investors crave even more information, claiming there is no such thing as having too much access to their finances.

Nearly six in 10 of these “very connected” investors take advantage of expert advice from a professional financial adviser.

forecast, review, feedback
Retirement planning includes: Forecast - Review - Feedback

Professional Advice: Voice of Reason

Two-thirds of all the survey respondents want to hear from their financial adviser, particularly during an economic downturn or other periods of unpredictability. General economic volatility is the No. 1 topic of discussion, and a little less than half see it as either an opportunity to make or a threat to lose money.

Mobile banking apps topped the list of digital tools for following finances. But there was much room to grow, as only 58 percent of investors said they had used a mobile bank app in the last year.

The most digitally connected investors tend to be better informed, which contributes to their success and positions them well for the future. We found they are more likely to consult with an adviser. Also, the information and advice can give them an advantage as they save and invest for retirement.

It’s good to have the curiosity and gather information. But there’s a big difference between information and knowledge. Investors may follow a trend and then decide to act as it’s coming to an end – and it’s too late.

unpredictable events, change in focus, allocation of assets
 Ongoing discussions include: Unpredictable Events - Change in Focus - Allocation of Assets

A financial adviser can be a steady hand in times of stress and help avoid panic selling or buying. Unfortunately, people often make decisions in life based on emotion. An adviser can help to bring the disciplined approach that focuses on facts, not emotions. We can empower our clients to make decisions.

How often should you meet? Establish the timing together. Some clients never want called unless there’s a crisis, while others want regular contact. Either way, our job is to be thinking about each of our clients all the time.

Rich Ramassini is a senior vice president with PNC Investments, LLC. He is a Certified Financial Planner professional with nearly 20 years of financial services experience.


PNC Investments offers insight and guidance every step of the way for retirement planning.

Rich Rammasini
Rich Ramassini says the most connected investors get info from digital devices and advisers

Stats for the Ages

Investors age 45 or older actually check financial information more than their younger counterparts ages 35-44, PNC found. The number who check daily or weekly:

Information Source 35-44 45-54
Financial news headlines  47% 65%
Stock market results 39% 50%
Liquid accounts (e.g., checking) 76% 74%
Investment accounts 30% 36%

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