According to Cogent Research, 43% of the people who are planning to rollover money from 401(k)s or other employer sponsored benefit programs to an IRA during the next 12 months will work with a financial advisor.
Since there is approximately $300 billion in rollover money available, this represents a vast opportunity for financial advisors, says Cogent Research, a custom research organization for the financial industry.
At the same time, those rolling over funds are becoming more conservative in their new investments. Two years ago, 33% of assets rolled over went to low-risk, guaranteed, but low-return products, compared with 40% that investors plan to put in those types of investments this year, Cogent says.
"Attracting these assets is becoming even more competitive as investors search beyond the traditional rollover providers for advisors and guidance," says Cogent in the 2012 Investor Assets in Motion report. The report is based on 4,000 investors with $100,000 or more in investable assets, excluding real estate.
"Today's rollover IRA candidates are scanning the marketplace for providers who can not only guide them through the rollover process, but provide some level of custom support about the pros and cons of a particular solution," says Antonio Ferreira, Cogent managing director and co-author of the report. "They are looking for full-service investment guidance."
Vanguard and Fidelity still are the preferred rollover IRA destinations but other companies such as Wells Fargo Advisors, Edward Jones and J.P. Morgan Chase are in the mix also. At the same time, investors want more guidance. More affluent investors are going to CDs and money market funds because of a fear of the marketplace, Ferreira says. "Even younger investors have a low-risk mentality right now."