AMEX Survey Reveals Participant Needs

December 3, 2002 ( - The average 401(k) balance has lost 17% since 2000, leaving many participants asking for more education on allocation and diversification, according to the latest release of the American Express Retirement Services 2002 Participant Satisfaction Survey results.

Forty-six percent of survey respondents want more advice and assistance in choosing their investment options.   Specific participants responses indicate more information is necessary on:

  • “Knowledge of market conditions”
  • “A simplified breakdown of investment options”
  • “How to understand what to invest in”
  • “How to choose the right funds”

American Express also said they had individual responses asking for, “someone to hold my hand and do the numbers so I can determine exactly what I need to be doing now” and another respondent needing, “a crystal ball to tell me what stocks and bonds will make money and not lose money.”

On the heels of the survey results, American Express says it is now offering back-to-the-basics comprehensive investor education.   “We’re focusing financial education on diversification for the new reality of this market,” said Rusty Field, vice president of Financial Planning and Education Services at American Express Retirement Services.

The survey was mailed to 10,000 randomly selected American Express Retirement Services 401(k) participants; results are based on the 495 returned responses.