Interest in Digital Tech Growing Among Wealthy Investors
An overwhelming majority of high-net-worth U.S. investors believe mobile
technology has helped them and they’re
increasingly using mobile devices and
applications, according to the findings
of a Morgan Stanley Investor Pulse Poll,
released in early August.
But a significant number of the country’s wealthiest investors continue to
have concerns about cybersecurity issues
when using their smartphones and other
mobile devices, the poll of 1,106 U.S.
investors, age 25–75, with $100,000
or more in household liquid investable
assets, found. A third of respondents had
$1 million or more in investable assets.
Eighty-seven percent of high-net-worth
investors felt mobile tech had positively
impacted them, while 59% reported an
increase in mobile tech use over the past
year, 61% said mobile tech helped them
manage their money and 58% said they
gained control and organization thanks
to such technology, according to the
report. In addition, while 63% enjoyed
learning about mobile tech, 44% felt it
was important to “keep up with the latest
mobile tech,” the report said. “Millennials
are even more likely to view mobile technology as enjoyable (83%) and important (74%),” it said.
The poll also found that 82% of high-
Crypto investigations Launched
net-worth investors expected their
investment firm to provide online access
to account information, while 78%
expected convenient and secure online
But enthusiasm for tech was “tempered
a bit by mistrust and concern” about
cybersecurity, Morgan Stanley reported.
Forty percent of high-net-worth inves-
tors overall agreed at least a bit that they
didn’t trust today’s mobile technology,
although that percentage was much
lower, at 26%, among high-net-worth
millennials, the report said. Specifically,
few of the wealthiest investors were very
confident in the security of their personal
financial information online, although
millennials were about twice as likely as
high-net-worth investors overall to feel
very confident that their financial info was
secure online — 18% of millennials said
this — and that they could protect that
information (19%), Morgan Stanley said.
The poll was conducted by Ipsos Public
Affairs Dec. 14, 2018, through Jan. 3,
2019, Morgan Stanley said.
State and provincial securities regulators have opened 130 new investigations
into questionable cryptocurrency-related
investment offerings and have 35 pending or completed enforcement actions
since the beginning of 2019.
The North American Securities
Administrators Association announced
the new investigations in August, which
add to the more than 200 investigations
already underway as part of NASAA’s
Operation Cryptosweep initiative,
launched last May.
Texas Securities Commissioner Travis
Iles issued an emergency cease and
desist order against New York-based
Forex and Bitcoin Trader for touting on
Craigslist Dallas a 900% return in 14
days. The firm deals in cryptocurrency
investments, commodity-based deriva-
tives and foreign currency trading.
Since its launch, the coordinated
NASAA sweep has resulted in 85 pending or completed enforcement actions
involving initial coin offerings or cryptocurrency-related investment products
and approximately 330 inquiries or investigations by securities regulators from
U.S. states and Canadian provinces.
In the case against Forex and Bitcoin
Trader, the order states that an agent
acting on behalf of the firms claimed to
be a licensed broker that is authorized to
trade in derivatives, securities and foreign
currency, but according to the order the
company is not registered with the secu-
rities commissioner as a dealer or agent.
The company is soliciting Texas
investors with the promise that a prin-
cipal investment of $2,000 will return
$20,000 after 14 days, minus commis-
sions and fees equal to 10% of returns.
According to the order, Forex and Bitcoin
Trader is misleading investors by stating it
has an insurance policy that backs client
funds and a balance sheet with sufficient
net capital to guarantee returns.
The company, however, is not disclosing any information about its capital or
insurance policy, and it is failing to inform
investors of the risks in trading cryptocurrency and foreign currency.
The Texas State Securities Board was
the first state securities regulator to
enter an enforcement order against a
cryptocurrency firm in December 2017.
—By Jeff Berman and Melanie Waddell
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