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Two-Thirds of Americans Don't Use Financial Advisors: Survey

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What You Need to Know

  • Nearly 26% of respondents said they have no one to turn to for answers to financial questions.
  • People who seek financial advice from professionals are better able to consider options that suit their short- and long-term needs.
  • Only 43% of participants passed an advanced financial capability test. The average score was slightly over 57%.

The National Financial Educators Council recently put a single survey question to 1,001 American adults: “When you have a financial question, who do you personally turn to for trusted financial guidance?”

Forty-one percent of respondents said they look to parents, family, friends or co-workers for answers to financial questions; 33.4% said they turn to financial professionals; and 25.8% said they do not have anyone they trust to turn to.

The NFEC considers this question important because when people have trusted professionals from whom they can seek advice when making money decisions, they are better able to consider options that align with their short- and long-term needs. 

“Clearly people who are not yet financially prepared to invest in real estate, equities or insurance lack access to well-qualified professionals who could help them with those decisions,” Vince Shorb, the NFEC’s chief executive, said in a statement. 

“Having access to solid guidance is essential at an early age, because the decisions people make while they’re young adults will significantly affect their futures as they mature.”

The council reported that those who do turn to qualified professionals for guidance in making major financial decisions become better able to choose options that align with their personal finance goals, both in the short and long term. 

More on this topic

The lack of access to trusted advice indicated by the research findings is therefore concerning, it said.

In a second study, the NFEC tested 10,508 people around the U.S. on their level of advanced financial capability. Questions focused on loan payments, inflation, risk-based pricing, FICO scoring, loan qualification and investment topics. 

Only 43% of participants passed the test. The average score was slightly over 57%. 

Taken together, the NFEC said, these studies underscore the importance of making trusted, professional guidance available to people when they need money management advice. 

(Photo: Shutterstock)