eMarketer reports some very useful insight on the financial services market on the web.
The industry the second largest online advertiser with a 15% share of the total market in the first half of 2007.

As for using online financial products or receive investment advise over the internet, the picture is mixed, with the younger male audience  of 18 to 34 year olds the most receptive, far outnumbering women in the same age group. 

For the 35+ group the figures drop significantly but with smaller differences between men and women.

US Adult Consumers Who Would Consider Using Online Financial Products or Services or Receiving Investment Advice over the Internet, by Age and Gender, 2007 (% of respondents in each group)

The positive: Higher income leads to more receptiveness with the highest figures for men with income higher than $ 75,000

US Adult Consumers Who Would Consider Using Online Financial Products or Services or Receiving Investment Advice over the Internet, by Gender and Income, 2007 (% of respondents in each group)

Another important statistic is the influence of word-of-mouth from family and friends as the main source of information, followed by the internet. This seems to indicate that the combination of both – as in user reviews will be of key importance on the buying process.

Main Source of Information about Select Financial Decisions Used by US Adult Internet Users, January 2007 (% of respondents)

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