Investors at Charles Schwab & Co. are more likely to trade stocks on- line than mutual funds, according to a recent survey by the San Francisco discount broker.
About 50% of its mutual fund trades are done on-line, compared with 70% percent of stock trades. Unlike stocks, most of Schwab's mutual fund products are available with no transaction fee, spokesman Greg Gable said, so there is less incentive to buy funds on-line.
The survey was e-mailed by Schwab to about 1,900 of its mutual fund customers; 625 responded.
About 92% of the respondents who said they planned to buy or sell mutual funds in the next six months said they would do so on-line.
Geoffrey Bobroff, a mutual fund consultant, in East Greenwich, R.I., warned against extrapolating Schwab's findings beyond their implications for fund supermarkets such as those of Schwab and Fidelity Investments. Most investors want the guidance that is still not available on-line, he said.