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Morgan Stanley Examines Why Investors Don’t Use Financial Advisors

By Alex Padalka December 21, 2017

The vast majority of Americans believe they’re on track to reach their long-term financial goals, and many believe a financial advisor can help them get there, according to a recent survey from Morgan Stanley. But less than a third of investors work with a financial advisor as their main financial professional, the survey found.

Ninety-one percent of investors think they’re on track for their long-term goals, according to a survey of 1,000 U.S. households with at least $100,000 in liquid assets, a third of which had $1 million or more. Even among millennials, 88% are confident they will get there, Morgan Stanley found.

But while the company found that many want some professional help to create a plan, they merely “appreciate” help from a financial advisor “as a complement to digital information.”

Even among those already working with a financial professional, only 51% want help drafting a comprehensive plan, while 57% just want supplementary information to what they get from online financial planning tools, Morgan Stanley found.

Meanwhile, just 31% of respondents work with a financial advisor as their primary financial professional, according to the survey.


And advisors may have a major role to play in helping investors. Americans worry about having enough savings: 67% expressed concern about earning enough money to last their lifetime, 56% are worried whether they have enough to maintain their standard of living and 52% are concerned about their ability to cover medical costs, Morgan Stanley found.