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Thirty-five percent of investors who work with a financial advisor say they are very confident in their investment strategy, according to a new survey from Franklin Templeton.

Only 15% of investors without an advisor express similar confidence.

Related: Fears Mount of Long COVID Winter Without Stimulus

The findings come from an ongoing Franklin Templeton–Gallup study of Americans’ propensity and readiness to resume pre-pandemic economic behaviors, and were based on surveys completed by 5,002 U.S. adults between Oct. 1 and Oct. 9.

The survey found that 48% of investors said they were working with a financial advisor. Those who were not were twice as likely as those who were to say they had little or no confidence in their investment strategy.

Franklin Templeton noted that investors with higher incomes are likelier to be confident in their investment strategy, but that the effect of a financial advisor, and the perception of greater economic confidence, was consistent across income groups.

Among investors with annual household incomes of less than $120,000, as well as among those making above that threshold, respondents with advisors were more than twice as likely to express the highest levels of confidence.

Survey respondents with financial advisors were also likelier to have a positive view of the stock market’s performance. Thirty-five percent of these investors, but only 22% of those without an advisor, said the market was much or somewhat higher today than it was before the pandemic began.

“Financial advisors have always helped educate investors about their investment options, but this research shows that their steady hand is also correlated with a stronger sense of control and confidence by investors in their financial future, which translates into broader engagement in consumer activity that the economy needs now,” Sonal Desai, chief investment officer of Franklin Templeton Fixed Income, said in a statement.

“By laying the groundwork for investor confidence, advisors’ work is enabling the type of consumer confidence needed to stimulate further economic recovery.”

Pandemic Behavior

According to Franklin Templeton, investors’ confidence in their investment strategy goes well beyond the realm of investment activity.

Survey respondents with the highest levels of confidence in their investment strategy were likelier to have engaged in consumer activities in sectors that have been battered by the pandemic — dining indoors at a restaurant in the past 24 hours, reserving a hotel, renting a car, booking a flight for use within 30 days.

These differences were present among both lower-income and higher-income investors, the survey found.

“Identifying the factors associated with increased public consumption confidence will be critical to understanding paths to economic recovery,” Gallup’s principal economist  Jonathan Rothwell said in the statement.

“Along with things like confidence in one’s ability to protect oneself from COVID-19, investment confidence is an attitude that will open up consumer spending that can buoy some of the U.S. economy’s hardest-hit industries.”

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