Morgan Stanley

Americans Confident They Are on Track to Realize Financial Goals and Recognize the Importance of Having a Financial Plan

Dec 19, 2017

Investors appreciate insight of a Financial Advisor as a complement to digital information

New York —

Americans are confident that they are on track to achieve their long-term financial goals, according to the latest Investor Pulse Poll by Morgan Stanley. Many also want a comprehensive financial plan to help them achieve these goals, and professional help to create that plan.

These are among the findings of the latest Morgan Stanley Wealth Management Investor Pulse Poll, which this summer surveyed 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. Additional findings were:

•  Ninety-one percent of investors believe that they are on track to achieve their long-term financial goals.

    o  Top long-term goals were saving for retirement (35%), transitioning wealth to the next generation (33%), and paying off a mortgage (32%).

    o  Eighty-eight percent of Millennials (those between 25 and 35) believe they are on track to reach their long-term goals.

    o  Millennials’ priorities, after saving for retirement (44%), are paying off a  mortgage (42%) and paying for a child/grandchild’s education (35%).

·     Those working with a financial professional would like professional help creating a comprehensive plan (51%) and want advice that supplements any information they may receive from online financial planning tools (57%).

•  Thirty-one percent of investors overall use a Financial Advisor as their primary financial professional.

•  Compared with 2016’s results, slightly fewer investors believe that their portfolios will either remain the same or increase in 2018.

    o  Fifty-nine percent of Investors are confident that their investment portfolios will stay constant in the next year, with another 32 percent believing they will increase; this compares with 63 percent and 26 percent respectively in 2016’s survey.

    o   Investors expressed concern about having adequate savings to meet their financial needs.

    o   Their top concerns include making their money last for their lifetime (67%), maintaining their standard of living for the rest of their life (56%), and being able to pay medical bills (52%).

Looking towards 2018, investors are almost evenly split between those believing it will be a good time to invest (40%), and those who are neutral (45%); only 14% predict next year will be bad for investments.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) is a leading global financial services firm providing investment banking, securities, wealth management and investment management services. With offices in more than 42 countries, the Firm's employees serve clients worldwide including corporations, governments, institutions and individuals. For more information about Morgan Stanley, please visit

Important Disclosures:

Important information about your relationship with your Financial Advisor and Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC when using a Financial Planning tool. When your Financial Advisor prepares a Financial Plan, they will be acting in an investment advisory capacity with respect to the delivery of your Financial Plan. To understand the differences between brokerage and advisory relationships, you should consult your Financial Advisor, or review our Understanding Your Brokerage and Investment Advisory Relationships brochure available at

You have sole responsibility for making all investment decisions with respect to the implementation of a Financial Plan. You may implement the Financial Plan at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC or at another firm. If you engage or have engaged Morgan Stanley, it will act as your broker, unless you ask it, in writing, to act as your investment adviser on any particular account.

The Investor Pulse Poll was conducted by GfK Public Communications and Social Science using the GfK KnowledgePanel. In order to qualify for this study, 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 decision makers in the household for financial matters. The Investor Pulse Poll surveyed 1,001 investors between August 15, 2017 and September 7, 2017. An oversample of 202 Millennial investors between the ages of 25-35 was also conducted during this timeframe using a blend of samples from the GfK KnowledgePanel and other online panels. High net worth investors account for 95 percent of total U.S. household investable assets by value, according to Federal Reserve data.

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CRC 1969047   12/2017

Media Relations: Margaret Draper, 914.225.6369

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