The Hartford Financial Services Group has released a survey that shows that almost half (46%) of respondents say that they have increased retirement contribution levels compared to a year ago. Nine out of ten respondents state that they are saving at least as much as last year.
Of those who state that they are saving more, 65% attribute it to a raise in salary. Forty-nine percent claim that they are contributing a greater amount of their salary, while 47% claim they have become more worried about retirement savings. Twelve percent attribute the increase to becoming more active in the market.
When making investment decisions, respondents say that historical performance of an investment vehicle is the most important thing to consider. Forty-five percent ranked it as the most important, while 22% ranked it as second. Only 12% said that fees were the most important thing to consider when making investment decisions.
Investors are also looking for unique investment opportunities. Seventy-six percent of respondents stated that they would be interested in a fund managed by a minority-owned firm, 83% would be interested in women-owned firms, and 91% expressed interest in socially responsible investing. Nearly 70% of respondents stated that they are looking for investment vehicles that will assure income for life.
Investors are also getting more tech-savvy. Seventy-nine percent said that they would process a trade online, while 80% said they would check real time quotes. Online newsletters on funds are also popular, according to the survey.
The survey, conducted for The Hartford by an independent research firm, polled 254 individuals between ages 18 and 65. The Hartford ( www.thehartford.com ) is one of the nation’s largest financial services and insurance company, with 2003 revenues of $18.7 billion.