Investors appear underwhelmed by the advisors associated with their 401(k) retirement plans, according to a new Millionaire Corner report.
Investors appear underwhelmed by the services provided by advisors attached to their 401(k) retirement plans, according to a new Millionaire Corner report, which indicates plan participants are seeking more holistic financial advice.
More than one-fourth of investors say the firm providing their 401(k) does not deliver the level of financial advice that they are seeking, according to our newly released report, Usage of Out-of-Plan Advisors. Another 12 percent of 401(k) plan participants say they have tried working with a representative from the company providing their 401(k) plan, but did not have confidence in the individual.
Five percent of plan participants say they are looking for a one-on-one relationship with an advisor and do not like their 401(k) plan setup which provides different advisors at different times. (High net worth investors generally prefer working with a dedicated advisor as opposed to a financial team approach.)
Investors who use a financial advisor outside their 401(k) plan are likely to receive assistance with managing all of their investments – not just assets held in the employer-sponsored retirement account, according to our research. Of investors using outside advisors, three-fourths of individuals ages 35 to 49, and more than half of individuals in their 50s receive advice regarding all of their assets.
At the same time, more than one-third of investors using outside advisors made changes to their 401(k) based on their advisors’ recommendations. Three-fourths of these investors altered their 401(k) plan asset allocation with one-third switching to a more conservative allocation and 11 percent switching to a more aggressive portfolio.
A full-service broker or independent financial planner appears best suited to meet the advisory needs of 401(k) plan participants. About one-fourth uses a full-service broker, while another one-fourth works with an independent financial planner. Ten percent uses a representative of a mutual fund company, while 9 percent works with a register investment advisor and another 9 percent works with a banker. (A registered investment advisor differs from a broker-dealer in significant ways.)
Relationships with outside advisors appear to be reaping more than financial rewards. More than 83 percent of 401(k) plan participants say they have become more knowledgeable investors by working with their financial advisors. And, 80 percent of investors say that working with their advisor has helped earn a higher rate of return than they would have realized on their own.