Survey Says: Participant Inertia

August 23, 2001 - Even the most casual study of participant behavior over the past thirty years suggests that participants, for the most part, "set it and forget it" when it comes to making investment decisions.

For the most part industry pros have drawn some comfort from the lack of abrupt or massive shifts — and some have questioned their lack of involvement despite massive efforts to inform and educate. But this week we’d like to know what you think – Is the apparent lack of participant activity the product of (a) sound education, (b) well-reasoned asset allocation, (c) a lack of time/interest, (d) natural inertia or (e) analysis paralysis?

Our Readers Respond:

This week’s survey results served to remind me just how many great people are “out there” on the front lines every day trying to make a difference. Take a minute and pat yourself on the back — you deserve it!

As for results: this week we asked your opinion on the apparent lack of participant behavior in managing their retirement accounts–not just during the past 18 months, but frankly for the past 30 years.

Lack of time/interest topped the survey results, garnering nearly a third of the possible responses (32.35%). But that wasn’t far ahead of inertia, which racked up a 31.37% response rate. Analysis paralysis — either too much information with too little knowledge, or just too much choice — was suggested by nearly a quarter of our respondents (23.53%).

More optimistically, nearly 9% said it was the product of well-reasoned asset allocation, while roughly 4% credited sound education.

Thanks to EVERYONE who participated in our survey — and who are working hard to make a difference every day! 

VERBATIMS – Find out what our readers had to say!

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