Clients List Top Money Mistakes: Edward Jones Survey

Lack of retirement savings savvy and inadequate tracking of finances rank high

According to a recent survey by financial services firm Edward Jones, 79% of Americans have committed a mistake with regard to their finances. Not saving enough for retirement topped the list of money mistakes (26%) followed by inadequate tracking of spending (20%) and taking on too much debt (13%).

Given the financial situation of many Americans, we’re surprised the total isn't higher. Regardless, it represents opportunity for advisors.

The survey asked respondents to identify their biggest money mistake.

  • Thirty-eight percent of respondents ages 35 to 44 were the most likely to point to saving too little for retirement as their top misstep.
  • Only 24% of individuals 65 years or older and 15% ages 18 to 34 expressed concerns regarding retirement savings.
  • Overwhelmingly, respondents in the 18 to 35-year-old bracket said that they do not pay enough attention to their spending and overall finances (35%).
  • Twenty-five percent of Midwestern respondents pointed towards lack of spending awareness, the highest percentage compared with other regions.
  • Just 10% of respondents 65 years or older identified unaccounted spending habits as their top money mistake. In fact, almost 20% of respondents in the oldest age group said they had not made any money mistakes.
  • Just 8% of respondents indicated that making "bad investments" was their biggest money mistake.
  • Men and women differed, with 12% of males and 5% of females pointing to bad investments.

"We find that clients who have made the commitment to an investment program quickly gain confidence in their ability to meet their future financial goals," said Scott Thoma, investment strategist for Edward Jones, in a statement. "While every investor will experience some bumps in the road, we remind them that keeping a long-term view is essential—a sentiment that seems to be reflected in this data."

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Read Half of Workers Believe Comfortable Retirement Out of Reach on AdvisorOne.

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