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Nationwide Financial Survey Finds One in Four Investors Do Not Have a Financial Plan

October 08, 2013

One in five consumers who have not created a financial plan believe they do not need one

King of Prussia, Pennslyvania - Nationwide Funds today announced that its in-depth investor sentiment survey conducted by Harris Interactive, titled “Fear of Financial Planning,” finds that 26 percent of potential investors do not have a financial plan. Perhaps even more frightening, especially in light of Financial Planning Week taking place Oct. 7 - 11, is that 38 percent of consumers who have no financial plan also have no intention of ever creating one. 

“We live in an era when Americans are more responsible for their own financial security than ever before,” said Michael Spangler, president of Nationwide Funds. “However, for various reasons far too many haven’t taken the time to draft a detailed financial plan to help them achieve their goals over the short, medium and long terms.”

Of the investors who have no financial plan, 31 percent stated they have not gotten around to crafting one yet, 20 percent said they do not need one, 16 percent said they do not know how to create one and 15 percent responded that they do not need a formal financial plan because “all of the information I need is in my head.”

“An effective plan is much more than opening a savings account or investing in your employer’s 401(k), it’s a map to ensure that you get to your financial destination,” Spangler said. “The positive news is people don’t need to go it alone, but can benefit from the expertise of an investment professional who can take a macro-level view and help them with their financial goals, whether it’s buying a home, paying for a child’s education, or saving for retirement.”

According to the survey, of the 783 potential investors over the age of 18 who had at least $100,000 in investable assets, 36 percent have never worked with a financial advisor or, they have in the past, but currently aren’t.  The top reasons given were respondents thought they could do it themselves and feel they didn’t need professional help (40 percent), don’t want to pay the fees associated with working with a financial advisor (20 percent), feel they don’t have enough assets to work with an advisor (11 percent) or are afraid to trust a stranger to handle their financial needs (6 percent).

Of those investors that do work with a financial advisor, 19 percent said they do so because they feel they need help to make better investment decisions or need more information and options regarding various investment opportunities. In addition, 17 percent said they turn to a financial advisor in order to avail themselves of the professional’s knowledge, expertise and investment success.

“These findings demonstrate several significant gaps that financial advisors can bridge to educate investors about the importance of a robust financial plan and various investment products that can help them to meet their financial goals,” said Spangler. “By working with an advisor who can assess an investor’s goals, assets and risk tolerance, the path to achieving those objectives and preparing for a secure retirement becomes significantly smoother.”

More information about the “Fear of Financial Planning” survey is available at

Investors interested in learning more about Nationwide Funds should contact their financial advisor or visit the Nationwide Funds website. Financial advisors interested in learning more should call the Nationwide Funds sales desk at 877-877-5083, option 3.


The survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Nationwide Financial from March 26 - April 3, 2013, and participants included 783 Americans ages 18 and older with a minimum of $100,000 in investable assets. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

About Nationwide Funds

Based in the Philadelphia area, Nationwide Funds is the mutual fund business of Nationwide Financial Services Inc., a leading provider of long-term savings and retirement products and a Nationwide Insurance company. A strategic partner to advisors, Nationwide Funds provides a full family of sub-advised mutual funds designed to help meet the unique investment goals and risk tolerances of their investor clients. As of Sept. 17, 2013, Nationwide Funds manages 108 funds with approximately $52 billion in assets, excluding fund of funds.

About Nationwide

Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the U.S. and is rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s. The company provides customers a full range of insurance and financial services, including auto insurance, motorcycle, boat, homeowners, pet, life insurance, farm, commercial insurance, annuities, mortgages, mutual funds, pensions, long-term savings plans and specialty health services. For more information, visit


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