2017 Scottrade® Retirement Study Reveals Investor Confusion and Cynicism

New survey results reveal that investors are overwhelmed with all the retirement investment options and want guidance they can trust

"The results clearly show that being overwhelmed directly impacts investor confidence, highlighting the important role an advisor plays in an investor's experience," said Brian Stimpfl, senior vice president and Head of Scottrade® Advisor Services. "The study results shed light on the fact that there is a gap in explaining the products, investments and decisions being made to clients. Advisors have an opportunity to deepen that relationship and strengthen the trust between themselves and their clients by addressing this confusion and cynicism head on." (Photo: Business Wire)

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ST. LOUIS--()--Scottrade’s 2017 Retirement Study released today shows that while the vast majority of investors do not act on their own for retirement planning and most of them generally like the advice they receive, some investors remain overwhelmed, confused and cynical.

Most Investors Like the Advice They Receive, But They Share Some Confusion and Cynicism – Particularly Younger Generations
The majority of U.S. investors are working with an advisor for retirement planning. Nearly two-thirds (62 percent) of investors are working with a financial professional to help them plan for retirement, and nearly half (47 percent) of these investors say they are “very” satisfied with the way their financial advisor has managed their retirement assets, with another 43 percent “somewhat” satisfied.

About half of U.S. investors (48 percent) (especially Millennials and Gen Xers) admit they are overwhelmed by all the investment choices that are available, and a majority (61 percent) wish they had access to reliable guidance. Furthermore, investors who are currently using an advisor are even more likely than those who are not using an advisor to say they feel overwhelmed by all of the retirement investment choices that are available (52 percent vs. 42 percent) and wish they had access to trustworthy retirement investment guidance (65 percent vs. 55 percent). Also, nearly half of investors who use an advisor say they don’t always understand why they have the retirement investments that they do (43 percent) and feel their advisor sometimes recommends products and solutions that are in their advisor’s own best interests (44 percent).

“It’s notable and, to be frank, disconcerting that the survey results show us that actually using an advisor doesn’t appear to lead to greater clarity or confidence,” said Brian Stimpfl, senior vice president and Head of Scottrade® Advisor Services. “But it’s important to take these findings and recognize that there is an opportunity for advisors to come alongside their clients and build trust by not only providing additional information, but also guidance to understand what options are best for their individual needs.”

Younger cohorts (Millennials and Gen Xers) are far more likely than their older peers to express hesitation and cynicism about the choices their advisors make on their behalf and are more likely to wish for advice they can trust. And Gen Xers stand out as the least likely age cohort to feel “very” satisfied with their advisor. Younger investors are more likely to:

  • Wish they had access to trustworthy retirement investment guidance (80 percent Millennials and 72 percent Gen Xers vs. 49 percent Boomers and 40 percent Seniors)
  • Feel overwhelmed by all of the retirement investment choices that are available (62 percent Millennials and 53 percent Gen Xers vs. 42 percent Boomers and 31 percent Seniors)
  • Not always understand why they have the retirement investments they do (57 percent Millennials and 52 percent Gen Xers vs. 31 percent Boomers and 28 percent Seniors)
  • Feel their advisor sometimes recommends products and solutions that are in their advisor’s own best interests (67 percent Millennial and 64 percent Gen Xers vs. 22 percent Boomers and 15 percent Seniors)

Feeling Overwhelmed by Investment Choices Directly Weakens Confidence, Contentment and Commitment
Being overwhelmed by the investment landscape has a direct (and negative) impact on investor confidence and satisfaction. Almost half (48 percent) of investors say they feel overwhelmed by all of the retirement investment choices that are available. These investors are more likely than investors who are not overwhelmed to:

  • Say they don’t spend much time on their retirement accounts (71 percent vs. 37 percent)
  • Say the fees they pay for retirement investments are not worth the service they get (58 percent vs. 21 percent)
  • Say they wish had access to trustworthy retirement investment guidance (78 percent vs. 46 percent)
  • Be less confident that they will have enough money in their retirement account when they retire (26 percent vs. 39 percent “extremely” confident)
  • Feel they won’t ever be able to retire (41 percent vs. 8 percent)
  • Be working with a financial advisor (67 percent vs. 58 percent), but less likely to be “very” satisfied with how their advisor is handling their investment assets (41 percent. vs. 54 percent)
  • Say they don’t always understand why they have the retirement investments they do (64 percent vs. 21 percent)

“The results clearly show that being overwhelmed directly impacts investor confidence, highlighting the important role an advisor plays in an investor’s experience,” added Stimpfl. “The study results shed light on the fact that there is a gap in explaining the products, investments and decisions being made to clients. Advisors have an opportunity to deepen that relationship and strengthen the trust between themselves and their clients by addressing this confusion and cynicism head on.”

For more information or to read the Retirement Study in full, visit Scottrade® Research Findings. To learn more about Scottrade, visit www.scottrade.com.

About the 2017 Scottrade Retirement Study
Scottrade’s Retirement Study was conducted online from January 4 – January 17, 2017. The survey was conducted by Harris Poll, an independent third party research firm not affiliated with Scottrade, Inc., its business units or subsidiaries. The online survey was conducted among a nationally representative sample of 1,030 adults in the U.S. aged 18 and older who are involved in investment decisions for their household and have $2,500 or more in investments with a full-service brokerage company, online brokerage company or independent financial advisor.

This online survey is not based on a probability sample, and therefore, no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, please contact mediarelations@scottrade.com.

About Scottrade, Inc.
A leading financial services firm founded in 1980, Scottrade’s mission is to improve lives by helping people overcome barriers to financial success. Through a large, nationwide branch network, Scottrade works with millions of clients, offering them the solutions and support they need to take control of their long-term investing and trading needs. To learn more about Scottrade, visit about.scottrade.comwww.scottrade.com or talk to us via social media. Member FINRA/SIPC.

Contacts

Scottrade, Inc.
Whitney Ellis, 314-965-1555, x1089
PR Analyst
wellis@scottrade.com

Release Summary

Scottrade® survey results reveal that investors are overwhelmed with all the retirement investment options and want guidance they can trust.

Contacts

Scottrade, Inc.
Whitney Ellis, 314-965-1555, x1089
PR Analyst
wellis@scottrade.com