Retirement plan participants surveyed said that they control two-thirds of their assets by themselves without the assistance of a financial advisor.
Nearly half of retirement plan participants do not use the services of a financial advisor, an indication of the confidence they have in their investment knowledge and acumen, according to a new survey conducted by Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner.
Retirement plan participants surveyed said that they control two-thirds of their assets by themselves without the assistance of a financial advisor. This self-directed mindset is higher among younger respondents than it is with their older counterparts. Respondents under 35 said they control 65 percent of their assets without professional help, while those between the ages of 35-49 control 74 percent of their assets. In comparison, respondents between the ages of 50-64 control 62 percent of their assets without professional assistance and seniors over 65 control just over half (56 percent).
Nineteen percent of retirement plan participants indicated that using a financial advisor is something they have not considered. Across the age groups, this attitude is most prevalent amongst the youngest respondents, with 26 percent of those under 35 stating they have not considered using an advisor, compared with 13 percent of seniors.
Not surprisingly, plan balance is a factor in consideration of using a financial advisor. Those with less than $10,000 are the most likely to say that they have not considered consulting one (25 percent), compared with 14 percent of those with at least $100,000 plan balance.
While a majority of retirement plan participants identify themselves as self-directed, just over one-third (35 percent) said their advisor usage is event-driven, meaning that they consult a financial advisor for specific needs such as asset allocation, saving for college, and retirement readiness. But even those who do use a financial advisor are more apt to attribute their financial success mostly to themselves. On a scale on which 0 equals
themself and 100 a financial advisor, the average plan participant rated 27.40. Seniors and those with the highest plan balances are likelier to give more credit to their advisor (41.12 and 32.32, respectively).
Nearly three-in-ten (28 percent) said they are relying less on an advisor, while 21 percent said they have a portion of their investments with an advisor to compare results with their own investing.
This investment confidence comes in part from confidence in their financial knowledge and their proactive pursuit of it. Nearly two-thirds (62 percent) said they feel there is currently much more and much better information available to them regarding investments.
These retirement plan participants represent an opportunity for financial advisors, said Catherine McBreen, president of Millionaire Corner. "Part of their reluctance to use a financial advisor might not stem so much from confidence in their own knowledge and abilities, but the fact that they might think they don't have enough net worth that requires an advisor's services. But our research has found that those who work with a financial advisor cite increased knowledge and peace of mind as two of primary benefits."
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.