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Millennials Faster to Move Money, Slower to Take Advice

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Millennials have an itchy trigger finger when it comes to investments, reacting to market volatility with unwise decisions—but they’re less likely to seek out professional financial advice.

That’s according to the MassMutual Retirement Savers Study from Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co., which finds that millennials are all too ready to reallocate retirement savings when the market gyrates, but the decisions they make when things are in flux can be the wrong ones for their long-term plans.

While 60% of older adult Americans, according to the study, say they’re leaving their retirement savings strategy as is—including 63% of women and 56% of men—just 23% of millennials are sticking to their guns, compared with 59% of those aged 34–49, 74% of those aged 50–64 and 82% of those aged 65 and older.

In fact, the study finds that a third of millennials (32%) say they’re moving more of their retirement savings into stocks and equities to benefit from future growth.

And a quarter of millennials—25%—say they’re moving more of their savings into fixed-income investments such as bonds or money market accounts because of the market’s recent behavior.

And while 32% of Americans overall say they rely on a financial advisor to guide them in making decisions about investments, older respondents are much more likely to do so than younger ones—with 62% of those aged 65 or older doing so, compared with only 8% of millennials.

In addition, women, at 36%, are also more likely to rely on an advisor than men, at 29%.

On the other hand, millennials are the ones most likely to rely on an employer’s educational programs and resources to guide them when investing and allocating their retirement savings.

They’re also more likely to already be using investment strategies such as managed accounts that automatically allocate investments based on an investor’s age, risk tolerance or other factors.

And while millennials are twice as likely to admit that they are uncertain about how to invest retirement savings—overall, one out of 10 workers admit to such a lack of confidence—only 1% of those aged 65 or older say the same (or admit to it). The older the investor, the study finds, the more certain he or she is about how to invest.

— Check out New Fannie Mae Policies Help Student Borrowers Get Mortgages on ThinkAdvisor.