"Hard work'' and "education'' got defined contribution plan participants where they are financially.
Defined contribution plan participants have a unique way of looking at where they are from a financial standpoint, and how they got there.
Spectrem’s latest report on defined contribution plans, Financial Attitudes and Concerns of Retirement Plan Participants, asked DC plan participants how they gathered the assets they have, and what they think about their own wealth level.
Ninety-five percent of DC plan participants say “hard work’’ contributed to their overall asset level, and that was by far the most popular choice. The second most popular choice was “education’’, selected by 82 percent of DC plan participants.
Only two other factors were selected by at least 50 percent of participants: frugality (67 percent) and smart investing (64 percent). Those four factors combine to paint a picture of an investor who works for his money and tries not to squander it by frivolous spending on outlandish investing.
Interestingly, listed by just under 50 percent of investors was “taking risk’’ as a factor in obtaining assets, followed by the good fortune choices of “being in the right place at the right time” (33 percent) and “luck’’ (also 33 percent).
(To read more from Financial Attitudes and Concerns of Retirement Plan Participants, click here.)
DC participants are not frequent users of financial advisors, and only 21 percent credited their financial advisor with making decisions that led to asset growth. Only 19 percent said inheritance was factor, and only 14 percent said family connections did the trick.
Only 10 percent said “running my own business’’ led to their wealth level.
Asked to rate their wealth status on a 100-point scale, in which “0’’ indicated less wealthy and “100’’ was more wealthy, DC plan participants placed themselves just below the midpoint, at 49.51. They placed their parents slightly lower, at 48.72, and they placed their spouse’s parents even lower, at 44.61.
Males had a higher opinion of their own wealth than women. Men placed their wealth level at 54.10, while women placed their wealthy level at 45.50.
Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for www.nba.com. He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.
In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.
McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.
McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy Buffett and all things Disney.