Where Do People Go for Financial Advice?

September 15, 2022

This article is included in these additional categories:

Boomers & Older | Demographics & Audiences | Financial Services | Industries | Retail & E-Commerce | Youth & Gen X

Roughly two-thirds of American adults have personal financial goals, and of those, more than 6 in 10 (63%) feel at least somewhat confident in their ability to meet them, according to survey results [pdf] from YouGov. The research also indicates that almost three-quarters feel somewhat (50%) or very (22%) confident when making financial decisions.

Interestingly, respondents feel more confident in their financial decisions than they feel their parents either do or did. Only 56% think their parents feel (or felt) very (18%) or somewhat (38%) confident when making financial decisions, although a large proportion (21%) simply aren’t sure.

As for discussing personal finances, adults are most comfortable doing so with their partner. About two-thirds feel some level of comfort in doing so, versus just 10% who feel uncomfortable. This is an even higher share than feel comfortable discussing their personal finances with a financial advisor: 59% said they would have some level of comfort in doing so, against 19% who would be uncomfortable. Likewise, 61% would be comfortable discussing their personal finances with their bank, though 23% would not.

Financial advisors are relied upon, though, for… advice. Some 22% of respondents said they turn to one for financial advice, second only to partners (28%). Still, an almost-equal proportion (21%) said they turn to the internet and online research for advice.

Breaking down the responses by age, the survey results indicate that older adults are far more likely than their younger counterparts to use financial advisors. One-third (33%) of adults ages 65 and older turn to them for financial advice, compared to 15% of 18-29-year-olds. By contrast, those younger than 45 are more likely than those over 45 to use the internet and online research for financial advice, though the disparity is not as great (23% and 19%, respectively). Even so, both 18-29 and 30-44-year-olds are more likely to use the internet than a financial advisor for financial advice.

Overall, 9 in 10 feel it’s important for them right now to save money, while fewer than half feel it’s important to spend and about 6 in 10 to invest.

Some 43% have money invested in the stock market right now, either in an individual stock or a mutual fund. Separate research from Gallup indicates that 58% have any money invested in the stock market right now, either in an individual stock, a stock mutual fund, or in a self-directed 401(k) or IRA. That survey also reveals that American adults overwhelmingly think that real estate is the best long-term investment. Some 45% share said as much, compared to 18% who cited stocks/mutual funds, 15% who pointed to gold, 10% to savings accounts/CDs, 8% to cryptocurrency, and 3% to bonds. Not surprisingly, younger adults ages 18-49 were more apt than those over 50 to say that cryptocurrency is the best long-term investment (13% and 2%, respectively).

About the Data: The YouGov results are based on a July survey of 1,000 US adults (18+), while the Gallup results are based on an April survey of 1,018 US adults (18+).

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