What do 401(k) investors want next? An advisor on their side.

Technology has helped make investing easier than ever, but it can be frustrating when you just want to talk to someone about your money. Our research finds that consumers want more than technology: they want a real, human financial advisor in their corner.

We offer that help at Financial Engines.

To learn more about what people had to say, we put together this infographic illustrating some of the findings from our research report, The human touch: The role of financial advisors in a changing advice landscape.

Information in this infographic comes from The human touch: The role of financial advisors in a changing advice landscape.
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The American people’s stance on the fiduciary standard.

Financial Engines has been a strong supporter of the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) proposed Conflict of Interest rule, which would require professionals who offer retirement investment advice to serve as fiduciaries to their clients—legally requiring them to put the best interest of their clients ahead of their own. In fact, we’ve been serving as a fiduciary for our clients since our founding 20 years ago.

With the DOL expected to issue its final version of the rule any day now, we surveyed more than 1,000 Americans to learn more about how important conflict-free investment advice is to them, as well as their understanding of the proposed rule. We found that while the general public may be unfamiliar with our industry jargon, they are overwhelmingly supportive of leveling the playing field and requiring financial advisors to work in their clients’ best interests.

Key findings from the survey, “In Whose Best Interest? What Americans know and what they want when it comes to retirement investment advice,” include:

  • A majority of American adults (66%) say they do not know what a “fiduciary” is when it comes to financial advisors.
  • Almost half (46%) of American adults mistakenly believe that all financial advisors are fiduciaries who are legally required to put the best interests of their clients first when it comes to retirement.
  • Among adults who already work with a financial advisor, a large portion (41%) are not sure if their advisor is a fiduciary or not.
  • 93% of Americans said it is important that all financial advisors be legally required to put their clients’ best interest first when providing advice on retirement savings.
  • 77% of American adults said they would support requiring all financial advisors who provide advice on retirement assets to be legally required to put their clients’ best interest first.

While it’s still unclear how the rule will net out, it’s clear that people believe the underlying intent of the conflict of interest rule is important, and support the notion that financial advisors should be legally required to put their clients’ best interest ahead of their own.

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Are you using target date funds correctly?

New Financial Engines Research Shows Why 401(k) Participants Move Away from Target-Date Funds Over Time.

Today, we released a new report, (“Not So Simple: Why Target-Date Funds Are Widely Misused by Retirement Investors”) that reveals why 401(k) participants tend to move away from target-date funds as they age and accumulate more assets. Surprisingly, it’s not for lack of understanding about how target-date funds work.

Check out our infographic below for an overview of the key findings and what you can do to make sure you’re not shooting yourself in the foot when investing your 401(k).

And if you still want more help with investing your retirement savings, consider enrolling in a managed account program.

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