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Investors Confident About Financial Goals, But Will That Continue?

New survey results find that Americans are confident that they are on track to achieve their long-term financial goals, but will that confidence continue in 2018?

According to the latest Investor Pulse Poll by Morgan Stanley, 91% of investors believe they are on track to achieve their long-term financial goals, with their top long-term goals being saving for retirement (35%), transitioning wealth to the next generation (33%) and paying off a mortgage (32%).

These findings are among a survey of 1,000 U.S. households with at least $100,000 in investible assets, a third of which had investible assets of $1 million or more.

Many respondents also want a comprehensive financial plan to help them achieve these goals and professional help to create that plan. Among those investors working with a financial professional, 51% would like professional help creating a comprehensive plan and 57% want advice that supplements any information they may receive from online financial planning tools. Yet, the survey found that only 31% of investor respondents overall use a financial advisor as their primary financial professional.

Compared with the previous year’s results, slightly fewer investors believe that their portfolios will either remain the same or increase in 2018. According to the findings, nearly 60% of investors said they are confident their investment portfolios will stay constant in 2018, with another 32% believing their portfolios will increase. Those numbers compare with 63% and 26%, respectively, in 2016’s survey.

Like most people, investors also expressed concern about having adequate savings to meet their financial needs. Their top concerns include making their money last for their lifetime (67%), maintaining their standard of living throughout retirement (56%) and being able to pay medical bills (52%).
Looking to 2018, investors were roughly split between those believing it will be a good time to invest (40%) and those who are neutral (45%) — only 14% predicted that 2018 will be bad for investments.

The Investor Pulse Poll was conducted by GfK Public Communications and Social Science between Aug. 15, 2017 and Sept. 7, 2017. Respondents were required to have $100,000 or more in household liquid investable assets, be between the ages of 25 and 75 years old and be one of the primary household financial decision-makers.