Why do so many people handle their own investments, rather than use an advisor? A bad experience? Cost concerns? Neither of the above, according to a new survey for the Deloitte Center for Financial Services.
Many have a higher comfort level in handling retirement planning on their own and a belief that they dont need professional advice.
This survey of over 4,000 household decision-makers found that nearly two-thirds of the respondents do not consult with a professional financial advisor for their retirement needs. Among those who were 15 years or more from retirement, the no-advisor population was about 75%.
When asked why they chose to direct their own financial future, only 13% cited a bad experience with an advisor and only 12% said they couldnt afford to pay an advisor. So why dont people use advisors? The two leading reasons were I am more comfortable handling my retirement plan on my own (57%) and I dont need professional advice to plan my retirement (38%); as the report notes, these responses are really two sides of the same coin.
Deloittes report offers some suggestions for converting these do-it-yourselfers to advice seekers. Advisors should realize that such investors want to retain full control over their retirement portfolio. Therefore, advisors might position themselves as facilitators and enablers. Prospective clients could be assured that theyll ultimately be in charge of their own investment decisions, but reminded that there is value in having expert advice so they can more informed decisions, based on all the available options.
To drive home the need for professional advice, the report continues, new marketing and advertising campaigns could be deployed to point out the risks of doing-it-myself when it comes to something as critical and potentially complex as retirement planning. Deloitte suggests the financial services industry follow the lead of the personal auto insurance market, presenting such messages in a humorous, entertaining fashion.
Success with do-it-yourselfers could truly be win-win, for consumers as well as for advisors. Deloittes survey found that 66% of respondents with a financial advisor have a formal plan for retirement savings and income, versus only 28% of those without an advisor. Consequently, 40% of respondents using financial advisors felt very secure about their retirement, versus only 22% of those with no advice. The message to reluctant prospects might be, working with an advisor means its more likely that you will have a plan, will save for retirement, and will wind up with money to spend once the paychecks stop.