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Many Americans Have Nowhere to Turn for Trusted Personal Finance Guidance

Vital to have access to financial guidance ‘when you are young’

New research from the National Financial Educators Council (NFEC) considers how people make their financial decisions, and with what degree of qualified information. Read the full report here.

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — When Americans need help with their finances, where do they turn? Recently the National Financial Educators Council (NFEC) sought to find out who people turn to when they need financial guidance from someone they trust. In a one-question survey, 1,038 people across the US were asked, “When you have a financial question, who do you turn to for trusted financial guidance?”

As Vince Shorb, CEO of the NFEC, states, “People who don’t yet have money ready to invest into equities, real estate, or insurance products lack access to qualified professionals they can turn to for financial guidance. It’s vital for people to gain access to knowledge and guidance when they’re young, because the financial decisions they make as young adults will have direct impact on their financial futures.”

Following are some of the selected results:

362 Respondents ages 18 to 34

  • Parents / Guardians – 37.4%
  • I Don’t Have Anyone Trusted to Turn to – 22.4%
  • Financial Professionals (advisors, etc.) – 22.4%
  • Friends / Coworkers – 9.9%
  • Siblings / Extended Family – 8%
  • Respondents in the younger age ranges in this survey (ages 18 – 34) said they turned to their parents most often (37.4%); and 22.4% answered, “I don’t have anyone trusted to turn to.”


343 Respondents ages 35 to 54

  • Financial Professionals (advisors, etc.) – 35%
  •  Don’t Have Anyone Trusted to Turn to – 22.2%
  • Parents / Guardians – 17.4%
  • Friends / Coworkers – 14.9%
  • Siblings / Extended Family – 10.5%
  • Over 22% of this age group reported that they have nobody trusted to turn to, while 35% reported that they rely on a trusted financial professional.


333 Respondents age 55+

Financial Professionals (advisors, etc.) – 41.4%

I Don’t Have Anyone Trusted to Turn to – 24.3%

Friends / Coworkers – 14.1%

Siblings / Extended Family – 11.4%

Parents / Guardians – 9%

Having a trusted professional to whom they can turn when making financial decisions can help people consider options that are better aligned with their near- and long-term needs. This survey demonstrates that many people lack access to professionals they trust who are qualified to provide financial guidance, especially among younger respondents.

The NFEC is conducting an ongoing series of research exploring how people get financial guidance and who they turn to for support on important financial decisions. These data are being used to guide the financial coaching product line to help people in greatest need of personalized financial education and guidance.

The broader focus of the NFEC's research is to gather empirical data and discover best practices to share financial literacy statistics with others in the industry...

The broader focus of the NFEC’s research is to gather empirical data and discover best practices to share financial literacy statistics with others in the industry. The NFEC seeks to gain in-depth knowledge about how people make financial decisions, the impact of their financial situations, and their capabilities to make financial choices that align with their personal goals. The research can give financial wellness organizations and financial coaches data to effectively support development of personal finance skill sets.

View the complete results here.




The National Financial Educators Council (NFEC) is a financial education resource provider, industry advocate, and thought leader. The NFEC conducts survey research and sponsors think tanks around financial education topics, with an overarching goal of obtaining empirical data that illuminate best practices to share with colleagues in the financial education space.