Nearly half (48%) now say they are comfortable with in person financial advice, up from 38% in last year’s study. Fourteen percent trust advice over the phone, compared with 8% in 1999, while just 9% expressed that confidence in online advice. However, that was nearly twice the 5% a year earlier.
And while nearly half (46%) plan to use the Internet to gather information over the next year, less than 15% plan to conduct transactions online, according to the American Century Investments 2000 Investor Internet Adoption Study.
The study also found that of those with online access to their 401(k) balance, nearly three-fourths (73%) have accessed that information, compared with just 43% in 1997. A consistent 60% say they are very likely to access that information in the future. Roughly 60% of survey respondents had Internet access to their 401(k) plan, compared with just 36% three years ago.
Privacy concerns linger, although the level of concern (39%) was roughly comparable to last year’s findings, and down significantly from the 68% reading just four years ago. At the same time, 36% indicated they had no security/privacy concerns regarding transactions on the Internet.
The most commonly cited concern was someone being able to access their account information (62%), but a close second was the 56% concerned that the company might share/sell their personal information.
Participants have accessed their 401(k) information to:
- 81% – check general plan information
- 77% – check personal account information
- 39% – change allocation of current investments
- 36% – change contribution amount
- 30% – change allocation of future investments
- 22% – check on loans
- 11% – email the plan provider
Most looking for advice on the Internet plan to tap into online education material (53%). Other types of advice likely to be used over the next 12 months were:
- 39% – online tools that provide mutual fund recommendations
- 36% – online tools that provide stock recommendations
- 31% – online tools that evaluate your mutual fund portfolio
- 24% – online financial calculators
- 10% – online chat with a customer service representative
– Nevin Adams firstname.lastname@example.org