ING Research: Investors Who Use an Advisor Report Saving More Than Their Peers

Help from a financial professional also promotes greater knowledge and confidence about retirement

Dec 13, 2010, 13:00 ET from ING

WINDSOR, Conn., Dec. 13, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- A new study from the ING Retirement Research Institute shows that those who spend time with a financial professional(1) report saving significantly more for retirement—two to three times as much—than their peers who do not.  According to the data, those working with a financial professional also feel more knowledgeable about investments and more confident in their ability to enjoy retirement.

The findings were generated from data captured by ING's pioneering peer comparison web-tool,  The free tool makes it possible for anyone to see where they stand in relation to others on different saving, spending, investing, debt and personal finance matters.  Users who input some basic and anonymous background information can access a number of personal finance categories, answer a variety of questions and quickly find out how they compare to other people just like themselves.

Since debuting in 2009, tens of thousands of visitors have gone to the site to complete a wide range of financial comparisons.

"We have long believed that financial advice from a trusted professional, whether obtained by phone or in person, can be a valuable resource for an investor," said Ashley Agard, Head of the ING Retirement Research Institute.  "This latest data collected from thousands of consumers who used our peer comparison tool shows that those who spend time with an advisor are saving more, and doing so with greater investment knowledge and confidence."

The study analyzed data on more than 14,000 users who entered their profile information into and answered a specific question about how much time they spent with a financial professional to discuss investments and their financial future (possible response choices ranged from no time to a lot of time).(2)  Nearly one-third (31%) indicated they spent at least some time with a financial professional.  Key findings included the following:

Increased Retirement Savings:  According to the data, those who spent some time with an advisor reported saving, on average, more than twice as much for retirement as those who spent no time at all.  The number jumped even higher – over three times as much – for those who spent a lot of time getting such help.

Greater Investment Knowledge: Of those who spent some time with a financial professional, nearly four-in-ten (39%) believed they knew more about investments than their peers.  Of those who spent a lot of time, almost six-in-ten (58%) believed they knew more.

Investment Style:  Spending time with a financial professional impacted how an individual invested with respect to their asset allocation.  According to the data, a majority (60%) of those who spent some time or a lot of time with an advisor considered themselves to be moderate investors.  The number who characterized themselves as moderate dropped to less than half (48%) when they spent very little or no time, and thus tended to be more conservative.

More Positive Outlook: Confidence about future financial success was also affected.  More than six-in-ten (62%) of those who spent a lot of time with a financial professional said they were highly confident about enjoying their retirement.  For those who spent no time, only about one-third (34%) reported the same level of confidence.

As an industry leader, ING is committed to gaining greater insights into the various factors that affect how people save for retirement. Through research, studies, tools and work done by the ING Retirement Research Institute, ING is a resource for plan distributors and employers seeking new ways to help Americans achieve positive retirement outcomes.  

For more information about this or other original ING research please visit and select the "publications" page.  Those interested in information or access to a financial professional can also visit or call 888-681-3153.  

1.  "Financial professional" and "advisor" are intended to mean the same thing and are used interchangeably.

2.  Data was collected from as of May 24, 2010.  Research was conducted on 14,062 users who were over 18 years of age and answered the question "Have you ever spent time with a financial professional to discuss your investments or plan your financial future?"  Possible answers included: 1) No; 2) Yes, but only once or twice; 3) Yes, some time; and 4) Yes, a lot of time.    

About the ING Retirement Research Institute

The ING Retirement Research Institute challenges the status quo in the financial services industry by leveraging pioneering behavior-based research to develop and offer unparalleled education and resources to customers. Supporting ING's thought leadership in guiding consumers to and through successful retirement, the Institute partners with leading industry and academic authorities in the behavioral finance arena to conduct targeted market research across all segments of the retirement industry.  These findings are then used to create tools and programs that encourage and motivate positive retirement planning behaviors.  For more information, visit

About ING

ING is a global financial institution of Dutch origin offering banking, investments, life insurance and retirement services to over 85 million private, corporate and institutional clients in over 40 countries. With a diverse workforce of more than 107,000 people, ING is dedicated to setting the standard in helping our clients manage their financial future.

In the U.S., the ING (NYSE: ING) family of companies offers a comprehensive array of financial services to retail and institutional clients, which includes life insurance, retirement plans, mutual funds, managed accounts, alternative investments, direct banking, institutional investment management, annuities, employee benefits and financial planning. ING holds top-tier rankings in key U.S. markets and serves approximately 30 million customers across the nation. For more information, visit