More than two out of five Americans (43%) say financial planners are now “more important in the last two years since the start of the financial crisis,” compared to about a third (36%) who see no change, and 14% who now see planners as being “less important.” Overall use of financial planners by Americans has remained almost unchanged during the first two years of the U.S. financial crisis – starting at 29% compared to 28% today, according to a press release.
Of those who have started using a financial planner since the start of the financial crisis, nearly a third (31%) say they have done so because “I felt like I needed more financial guidance during these difficult times for investors.” However, a bigger percentage of those in this group (44%) said they have started using a financial planner during the last two years for reasons “unrelated to the financial crisis.”
The survey also found almost two thirds of Americans (64%) say they are “very” or “somewhat” financially prepared for the future. The top three financial planning issues for Americans are retirement goals and planning (30%), education funding (25%), and savings goals and planning (23%).
Other survey findings, according to the press release, include:
- More than a third of Americans (37%) expect to see their personal finances improve in the next six months, versus less than half (46%) who expect to hold onto what they currently have, and 16% who expect to lose money.
- 80% of Americans say that Congress and regulators have not done enough “to deal with the financial market problems and their impact on American investors.”
- 44% of Americans expect the U.S. economy to improve in the next six months, while only 28% expect things to get worse. A smaller group (22%) anticipates no change in the economy.
- When asked to describe how they feel about their personal finances, the numbe one response from Americans was “cautious” (33%), followed by “calm” (26%), “concerned” (25%) and “hopeful” (25%). (Multiple responses were permitted to this question.)
- 38% of whites expect the economy to improve, compared to 51% of Hispanics and 74% of African Americans.