Earlier this month, TIAA-CREF released the results from its second annual Financial Advice Survey. A random group of 1,000 adults across the nation were asked about their attitudes, preferences and behaviors when it comes to receiving financial advice. Among the findings was the fact that many people don’t know where to go for financial advice they can trust.
“The number of respondents who felt this way was about 48%. In addition, 37% are not comfortable talking to anyone about their financial affairs. And about 40% think they can’t afford good financial advice. This was surprising to us because there is a fair amount of good financial advice available for free through your employer,” says Eric Jones, senior managing director of advisory solutions at TIAA-CREF.
Some may be misinformed about the cost of good financial advice because wealthier individuals tend to seek the assistance of financial planners and advisers.
“A lot of advisers target wealthy individuals. So some people may get the perception that you must be wealthy to get good advice,” says Jones.
Furthermore, some respondents reported a lack of trust when it comes to seeking financial advice. This is most likely due to the large amount of information that is available, making it difficult to choose between sources that are reputable and those that are not.
Jones advises consumers to start with their employers when looking for solid money management advice.
“Start with services provided through your employer. They have a responsibility to provide objective sources.”
The study also found that Generation Y (those who range in age from 18 to 34) is more likely to go to friends and family for advice. Jones says it’s not necessarily a bad thing to do, but the advice should be limited to providing a referral to a good financial specialist (unless your friend or family member is a certified financial professional).