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Online Investor Study

The popularity of online trading has increased at a rapid pace. The General Accounting Office finds that the number of online trading accounts has tripled from 1997 to mid-1999 to approximately 10.5 million (GAO, 2000). The GAO further estimates that eight million additional accounts could be opened by the year 2001 (GAO, 2000). With such a large and growing number of online accounts, AARP was interested in evaluating the online trading practices of the older online investor.

This report presents results for the issues covered by the survey relationships between specific online behaviors such as the proportion of portfolio in online investments, the frequency of online trades, changes in online trading frequency, satisfaction with online trading, research conducted before completing online trades, the use of an off-line broker, and concern regarding trade monitoring.

Online interviews were conducted from June 16 through July 3, 2000. A total of 995 respondents age 45 and older [selected from 2,500 prescreened older households with an individual who had invested online within the past 12 months] completed the survey, for a response rate of 40 percent. (35 pages)

—from the Introduction to Online Investor Study by Dorit Shapiro