Investor concern about financial planning has increased since September 11, according to a Financial Planning Association (FPA) survey. Some 53 percent of those surveyed said the terrorist attacks increased the importance of planning.
The survey, conducted by the 28,000-member FPA with the Consumer Federation of America, revealed that only 17 percent said planning was less important. Most interested were respondents aged 25 to 34 (61 percent said it was more important now) and African-Americans (72 percent).
The numbers didn’t surprise several brokers interviewed for this story, who said they have witnessed it first-hand. "I can definitely see that the importance of financial planning is growing based on the rising number of responses to my seminars," says a Prudential Securities broker on the West Coast. "It appears as if people are more concerned than ever before that they might not have enough for their future and their retirement."
"I’m finding that this is a good time to prospect," says an Edward Jones producer who has ramped up his seminars from semiannually to quarterly. "I’m seeing that people are more concerned about their future, especially married couples in their late 30s."
The survey reinforces earlier research that September 11 has made Americans more, not less, financially prudent, according to the FPA.
About 92 percent of those polled consider financial planning to be important personally, and 65 percent consider it to be "very important." About 73 percent of respondents from moderate income households ($45,000 to $50,000 a year) and 77 percent of African-Americans ranked planning "very important."