Advised Investors Feel More Confident about Equities

A survey by AXA Equitable found that Americans who work with financial professionals are more confident about their ability to invest in equities.

Most surveyed investors who work with financial professionals reported that investing in equities is important (67% versus 54% who don’t work with a financial professional). Furthermore, investors working with advisers are more likely to be at least somewhat confident about their ability to invest in equities (56% versus 44%) and to have recouped at least some losses in the market (69% versus 60%).

However, consumers show some reluctance toward the stock market. Just fewer than two in 10 of those polled (19%) are confident in their ability to invest in equities, yet 60% believe equities are necessary to achieve retirement goals, according to AXA.

About 11% of consumers said they have stopped using or switched financial professionals.

“Consumers are not abandoning their adviser relationships,” said Andrew McMahon, senior executive vice president for AXA Equitable and president of its financial protection and wealth management business, in a release of the results. “In fact, advisory relationships are even more important to help bolster consumer confidence in being able to invest in equities wisely.”

Retirement Delayed

Recent market volatility has also forced many Americans to adjust their retirement plans, the survey found. More than four in 10 polled Americans (42%) plan to delay retirement, on average, by six years—to age 68 rather than age 62.

Furthermore, almost three in 10 Americans (27%) plan to go back to work after retiring. Two in 10 retirees (17%) already have gone back to work, up from 9% polled in February 2009.

The study, “Retirement in America: A Survey of Concerns and Expectations,” polled 1,000 Americans between the ages of 25 and 70. The survey was conducted in December, and respondents included financial decisionmakers with household income of at least $75,000 or investable assets between $250,000 and $999,999.