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What You Need to Know

  • About 19% of survey participants said their income increased in 2020.
  • Most survey participants said they're saving money.
  • Many consumers without advisors need help with dealing with debt.

The hot new investment these days may be a rainy day fund.

The Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) looks at what consumers want, and need, in a new batch of results from a survey of 2,034 U.S. adults, ages 18 and older, that was conducted in November 2020, as the third U.S. wave of the COVID-19 pandemic was beginning.

MDRT is a Park Ridge, Illinois-based group for top sellers of life insurance, annuities and other insurance and financial services products. Its surveys serve as a supplement to the kinds of household finance surveys sponsored by the Federal Reserve Board and other governmental and academic organizations.

About 68% of the MDRT survey participants had investments of some kind, according to the public results summary and the survey executive summary.

The pandemic hit the finances of many of the survey participants hard: 19% said their income rose in 2020, but 35% said their income fell.

About 82% of all of the participants said they were saving money, and many of them reported aiming more for liquidity than for a secure retirement.

Here are those participants’ top reasons for saving:

  • Emergency Funds: 43%
  • Rainy Day Funds: 36%
  • Retirement Savings: 32%

MDRT did not provide separate income data for survey participants with advisors and the participants without advisors.

It did find that the participants with advisors reported more efforts to save for retirement.

About 42% of the survey participants with advisors said they were saving for rainy-day funds, but 47% said they were also building up retirement savings. For 33% of participants with advisors, preparing for long-term financial goals is a top reason to be working with an advisor in 2021.

Only 33% of the participants without advisors said they were putting money in rainy-day funds, and just 26% said they were saving for retirement.

About 30% of those participants said that, if they were working with an advisor, preparing for long-term financials would be a top reason to be working with with an advisor.

But, for 28% of the participants without advisors, creating an emergency savings fund would be a top reason to work with an advisor.

For 26%, a top reason for working with an advisor would be to figure how to pay off debt.

(Image: NAR Studio/Shutterstock)

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