Study: Investors of all Ages Need a Hand

August 4, 2005 ( - Regardless of age, investors these days are looking for some help in managing their investments.

A news release said that a 2005 survey by the MainStay Investments division of New York Life Investment Management LLC (NYLIM) found that half of GenX investors, 46% of Boomers and 45% of Matures admit that they “need the help of professionals.” That is up roughly 10% across the board from 2004.

Among investors without a financial plan, 56% of GenXers and 39% of Boomers expect to need one in the future, up from 50% and 35% respectively in 2004, the survey found. Pollsters defined GenX as age 26 to 40, Boomers as age 41 to 59 and Matures as age 60 to 82.

In a change from 2004, investors generally are looking for less aggressive investment options. Some 26% of GenXers report their investment styles as conservative in 2005, up from 19% in 2004. Similarly, 40% of Boomers and 49% of Matures now identify themselves as conservative investors, up from 28% and 39%, respectively, in 2004.

According to the news release, the survey also found that:

  • while “not having enough discretionary income” is the most frequently cited reason for not saving or investing more – mentioned by approximately half of all survey respondents – a significant percentage of investors procrastinate and/or lack confidence.
  • more than one in ten of the GenXers (11%) and Boomers (10%) say they “haven’t gotten around to” saving/investing more.
  • more than one in seven (14%) of GenXers and Boomers – and 8% of Matures – admit they “don’t have enough time/financial knowledge to make prudent investment decisions”.
  • approximately half of GenXers work with an investment professional of some kind. In addition, roughly one in five (21%) expects to begin working with a financial advisor over the next three to five years, as do 14% of Boomers.
  • 37% of GenXers, 32% of Boomers and 23% of Matures have moved cash to the sidelines over the past six months and less than 5% of all investors have reduced their cash holdings.
  • non-retirement assets for Boomers declined to 57% in 2005 from 79% in 2004.

The survey was conducted by an online research firm during the spring of 2005. The survey polled 1,537 individuals ages 26 to 82. Respondents were US residents with a total net worth of at least $100,000.

For a copy of the survey white paper, contact Meghan Lantier, Bliss, Gouverneur & Associates at (212) 840-1661 or at .