Investors who work with a financial professional report saving significantly more for retirement, according to research by ING Retirement Research.
Its study, released Monday, found that investors save two to three times more than peers who do not work with an adviser. Those working with a financial professional also feel more knowledgeable about investments and more confident in their ability to enjoy retirement.
"We have long believed that financial advice from a trusted professional, whether obtained by phone or in person, can be a valuable resource for an investor," said Ashley Agard, head of the ING Retirement Research Institute. "This latest data, collected from thousands of consumers who used our peer comparison tool, shows that those who spend time with an adviser are saving more and doing so with greater investment knowledge and confidence."
The study analyzed data on more than 14,000 users who entered their profile information into INGCompareMe.com and answered a specific question about the time they spent with a financial professional discussing their financial future and investments. Thirty-one percent indicated they spent at least some time with a professional.
The data also showed that those who spent some time with an adviser reported saving, on average, more than twice as much for retirement as those who spent no time at all with an adviser. The proportion jumped even higher — to more than three times as much — for those who spent a lot of time with an adviser.
Of those who spent some time with a financial professional, nearly 39% believed they knew more about investments than their peers did. Of those who spent a lot of time, 58% believed they knew more.
Spending time with an adviser affected how an individual allocated investments in various asset categories. About 60% of those who spent some time or a lot of time with an adviser considered themselves to be moderate investors, the data showed. But the number who characterized themselves as moderate fell to 48% when they had spent very little or no time with an adviser.
Investor confidence also improved as the time an individual spent with his or her adviser increased. Sixty-two percent of investors who spent a lot of time with a financial professional said they were highly confident about enjoying their retirement, but only 34% of investors who spent no time with an adviser had as much confidence.