As New Year Opens, Investors Say They're on Track with Financial Goals

Half Use Financial Advisor

Jan 09, 2013, 08:00 ET from John Hancock Financial

BOSTON, Jan. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- As they look forward to a new year, 70 percent of investors feel they are on track with their financial goals, with ten percent reporting they are actually ahead of schedule, according to a recent survey by John Hancock. About thirty percent admit they are behind schedule, but only seven percent say they are so far behind they are unlikely to catch up.

Asked what steps they have taken to help achieve their financial goals, most investors say they save a certain amount on a regular basis (59 percent). Nearly half reduced their spending as a way to succeed (45 percent). Four in ten calculated how much they would need to reach their goals (41 percent), and 40 percent consulted a financial professional for specific advice about their goals.

The findings are derived from the Q4 2012 John Hancock Investor Sentiment Survey, a quarterly poll of investors. The survey measures investors' feelings about the current economic climate and their evaluations of what represents a good or bad investment given the current environment.  The poll also asks investors about their confidence in reaching key financial goals and likelihood of purchasing financial products and services.

More than half (52 percent) of respondents say they have a financial advisor. Of that group, 56 percent say the main reason why they choose to work with a professional financial advisor is that they believe the advisor can help them attain better investment returns. Others cite as their main reason wanting a more comprehensive financial plan or wanting to confirm that their financial decisions are on track (47 percent each). Thirty-seven percent of this group says they don't feel knowledgeable enough to manage their own investments. A quarter of investors say they work with an advisor because they lack the time to manage their investments (24 percent).

About 43 percent of those who do not work with an advisor say they choose not to work with one because they feel knowledgeable enough to manage their own investments. About forty percent enjoy managing their own investments, while 36 percent say they don't think advisors provide good value for the money.

About the John Hancock Investor Sentiment Survey
This online survey was conducted by independent research firm Mathew Greenwald & Associates.  A total of 1,127 investors were surveyed November 26th to December 7th,  2012. Respondents were selected from among members of Research Now's online research panel.  To qualify, respondents were required to participate at least to some extent in their household's financial decision-making process, have a household income of at least $75,000, and assets of $100,000.  The data were weighted by age and education to reflect the population of Americans matching the survey's qualification requirements. In a similarly-sized random sample survey, the margin of error would be plus or minus 2.98 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.  Due to rounding and missing categories, numbers presented may not always total to 100 percent.

About John Hancock Financial and Manulife Financial
John Hancock Financial is a division of Manulife Financial, a leading Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. Operating as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia, and primarily as John Hancock in the United States, the Company offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services through its extensive network of employees, agents and distribution partners. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were C$515 billion (US$523 billion) as at September 30, 2012. Manulife Financial Corporation trades as 'MFC' on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under '945' on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at

The John Hancock unit, through its insurance companies, comprises one of the largest life insurers in the United States. John Hancock offers a broad range of financial products and services, including life insurance, annuities, fixed products, mutual funds, 401(k) plans, long-term care insurance, college savings, and other forms of business insurance. Additional information about John Hancock may be found at

SOURCE John Hancock Financial