Most Americans say they need more help when it comes to saving money and preparing for retirement, according to the latest poll conducted by Hearts & Wallets. But they appear to have a high degree of mistrust of financial advisors.
The survey of 5,000-plus households found that 62% of respondents wish they were doing a better job of saving. Plus, putting money away “is a largely unmet need” for more than 40 million households with $5.2 trillion in investable assets, who find it difficult or extremely difficult to know where to put savings, according to Hearts & Wallets research.
At the same time, investors are feeling better about the U.S. economy, inflation and retirement in general vs. last year. Yet, close to half, 44%, said they fear being “ripped off” by financial professionals, the poll finds.
“Consumers are focusing on the bird in the hand—their emergency fund—but are very aware of the bird in the bush and, with their improving mindset, know they need to do more to build their retirement funds and overall savings,” said Hearts & Wallets CEO Laura Varas, in a statement.
The news for advisors, isn’t all bad, she pointed out.
“In general, U.S. households are feeling better, but there is a nagging undercurrent for something more. Few households made money last year. Some are caught between the fear of losing capital and missing growth. It’s a great opportunity for financial providers who understand the mindset and challenges of specific target groups to design solutions that meet their needs,” Varas explained.
Overall, consumers said their household wealth is stagnant. Thus, with the exception of retirees, many of them are more willing to risk market volatility in pursuit of gains in the low-interest rate environment.
“In particular, receptivity of younger investors reached new highs not seen since 2010 with almost one-third being comfortable with volatility,” the data and consulting group stated.
Twenty-seven percent of investors said they are comfortable with volatility as a possible means of getting higher returns vs. 22% in 2015.