The Advisory Career

Consumers with Advisors More Financially Prepared and Confident than “DIY-ers”

Why are they ‘going it alone’?

New study from MDRT reveals the importance of planning for a healthy future. See an inforgraphic here.

PARK RIDGE, Ill. (March 22, 2017) — A new study, commissioned by Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) and conducted online by Harris Poll, found that 79 percent of Americans have never hired a financial planner, 38 percent of whom say it’s because they are capable of managing their finances alone. However, many Americans who have hired a financial professional report feeling confident at the sight of complex financial terminology such as long-term care insurance (41%), Roth IRA (69%) and annuities (49%).

While roughly half of Americans who have never hired a financial professional feel confident with traditional terms such as “life insurance”(51%) and “401(k)”(52%), the proportion of those who feel confident seems to drops when it comes to more complex areas such as “long-term care insurance”(31%), “Roth IRA”(42%) and “annuities”(28%).

“These results further emphasize the importance of planning for a healthy financial future,” said Mark J. Hanna, CLU, ChFC, MDRT President. “Consider working with an advisor like hiring a professional builder to renovate your home. While you may be able to paint the walls on your own, your overall knowledge wouldn’t enable you to replace your pipes or build new cabinets in your kitchen.”

Don’t Let Your Plans Fall Short

Of the Americans who have never hired a professional, less than half (46%) have a retirement plan or emergency fund, only 19 percent have a long-term financial plan for the future and 46 percent have life insurance. This is in contrast to the 21 percent who have hired a financial planner, in which 77 percent have a retirement plan or emergency fund, half have a long-term financial plan for the future and 63% have life insurance. Among those who have never hired a financial professional, when asked why:

  • 44 percent say they don’t have enough assets or money to need one
  • 38 percent say they are capable of managing their own finances
  • 36 percent say it would cost too much money
Consider working with an advisor like hiring a professional builder to renovate your home... you might be able to paint the walls yourself, but not fix a broken pipe

“Working with a financial professional gives you a resource for deeper understanding of financial terminology and planning capabilities, ensuring you protect yourself and your family with a well-rounded plan,” said Hanna.

Millennials Still Aren’t Planning for Retirement

36 percent of employed millennials (ages 18-34) whose company offers a 401(k) or pension plan are not participating in it, despite last year’s MDRT survey findings that the average millennial expects to retire at a younger age than other generations.

For a high-resolution infographic that highlights how confidence plays a role in financial protection and success, please contact Tori Unger at [email protected]

Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of MDRT from February 6-8, 2017 among 2,202 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, among whom 490 have hired a financial planner and 1,712 have not. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Emily Bunce at [email protected]

About MDRT
This year MDRT celebrates its 90th year of delivering innovative ideas and generating empowered growth as the internationally recognized standard of excellence in life insurance and financial services. Founded in 1927, the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT), The Premier Association of Financial Professionals®, is a global, independent association of more than 49,500 of the world’s leading life insurance and financial services professionals from more than 500 companies in 70 nations and territories. MDRT members demonstrate exceptional professional knowledge, strict ethical conduct and outstanding client service. MDRT membership is recognized internationally as the standard of excellence in the life insurance and financial services business. For more information, please visit mdrt.org and follow them on Twitter @MDRtweet.