May 17, 2001 - Yesterday we noted the dilemma of plan sponsors and providers alike -- why don't participants -- at least large numbers of them -- take advantage of investment advice? Realizing that the reasons can be as diverse as the individual participants themselves, our readers were --as usual --most generous in the response.

Nearly 22% chose a category we didn’t even offer (and we provided EIGHT), which we have summed up as either too lazy and/or not enough time to plan for retirement. Granted, those can be very different motivations, but overall the sense was that individual participants are not making –or taking — the time to attend to this very important area.

A close second opinion (19%) suggested that participants don’t know HOW to use online investment advice. However, we should also note that an number of readers suggested that this was not because they hadn’t been shown how — in some cases multiple times.

Just behind was 18% who felt that when it comes to investment advice, people were typically going to be more comfortable dealing with people –people they trusted, rather than relying on online tools.

A surprisingly large 14.5% opined that participants weren’t using advice because they didn’t know they had access to advice, and more than 10% said that participants really didn’t have access to advice, either because their employer didn’t offer it, or because the participant lacked convenient access to the Internet.

Nearly 8% said the cost was too high, 5% said it was because participants didn’t think they needed advice and the remaining (roughly 4%) said that participants had been paralyzed with too many choices (another “original” option).

EDITOR’S NOTE: Each week we are treated to a large number of thoughtful, insightful — and occasionally entertaining –responses. We try to share some of these with you most weeks, but this meager space wouldn’t begin to provide a true sense of this week’s contributions. But, thanks to the Web, we are able to post a large number of those responses for your enjoyment and enlightenment (unattributed to protect the “innocent”). You can check them out at .

You’ll no doubt be happy to know that the cover story in the May issue of PLAN SPONSOR, “Filling the Seats”, focuses exactly on the issue of participant advice. You’ll want to check it out at–not to mention the rest of the magazine and a series of items you’ll find ONLY on the web at .

Thanks again to all who participated in our survey –if today’s survey or the postings inspire you, drop us a note at