Would-Be Investors Have Retirement in Mind

August 27, 2007 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Americans who plan to begin investing in the next 12 months say they intend to do so for long-term objectives, such as retirement or family reasons.

According to a press release by Scottrade, its 2007 American Investor Study found 56% of would-be investors surveyed said they were going to begin investing to save for retirement. Fifty-one percent said they want to build a future “nest egg” for themselves or their family.

Other reasons respondents chose for beginning to invest within the next 12 months, according to the press release, included:

  • “Investing is just something I need to do,” indicating a sense of obligation – 32%,
  • Saving for a “rainy day” fund – 27%,
  • Thinking it will be fun and interesting – 27%,
  • Reducing debt – 23%,
  • To buy a new home – 18%, and
  • For education expenses – 17%.

Respondents indicated they look to family members (44%), independent financial Web sites (41%), the broker where they will have an account (36%), or an independent financial adviser (28%) for investment ideas and information. However, the study found more than one-third of Americans who are not currently investing said that although they are interested in doing so, they do not know how to trade or get started.

While the top reason Americans surveyed gave for not having an investment account is a lack of available funds (56%), 38% said they do not know how to buy or sell investments and 34% said they do not know how to get started. Sixteen percent indicated they are not comfortable with the risk and 14% said they do not have time to invest.

The 2007 American Investor Study was commissioned by Scottrade and conducted online with a nationally representative sample of 1,031 members of Survey Sampling Inc.’s SurveySpot consumer panel. All participants were at least 18 years of age and either shared responsibility in making financial decisions or were the sole financial decisionmakers in their households.