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Financial Planning > Charitable Giving > Donor Advised Funds

Advised DIY Clients' Balances Way Ahead of Non-Advised Clients': Study

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Only one in five self-directed brokerage account participants worked with an advisor in the second quarter, but those who did had eye-poppingly larger balances than non-advised participants, Charles Schwab reported Wednesday.

Advised SDBA participants had an average balance of $448,515 vs. an average balance of $234,673 for participants who did not have an advisor.

SDBAs are brokerage accounts within retirement plans, including 401(k)s and other types of retirement plans, which participants can use to invest in stocks, bonds, exchange-traded funds, mutual funds and other securities that are not part of their plan’s core investment offerings.

Gen X participants represented 43.9% of advised accounts, followed by baby boomers at 43% and millennials at 9.7%.

The report included data collected from some 142,000 retirement plan participants who currently have balances between $5,000 and $10 million in their Schwab Personal Choice Retirement Account. Researchers extract quarterly data on all accounts that are open as of quarter-end and meet the balance criteria.

The report found that in non-advised accounts, participants allocated 33% of their portfolios to equities, 32% to mutual funds, 15% allocated to ETFs, 3% to fixed income and 17% to cash.

In advised accounts, mutual funds were the investment vehicle of choice, representing approximately 50% of participant assets. ETFs had a 23% allocation, equities 19%, fixed income 4% and cash 4%.

Both advised and non-advised participants held Apple and Amazon as their top stocks; however, for non-advised participants, these positions represented nearly 17% of their equity allocation versus just less than 10% for advised participants.

In addition, non-advised participants allocated more of their holdings to growth stocks, whereas those who worked with advisors were invested in more value-oriented companies.

According to the report, the average second quarter SDBA account balance for all participants was $276,547, up 3.3% from the previous quarter and up 12.3% from the fourth quarter.

Advised accounts averaged 9.8 trades in the second quarter, compared with 5.7 trades by non-advised participants. Overall trading volume was on part with that is the previous two quarters, the report said.


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