Americans who manage their own finances may end up paying less in fees, but they usually feel less secure than those who use an advisor, according to a new survey.

Sixty-nine percent of those surveyed are taking a self-directed approach to planning, compared to 18 percent who have used an advisor, according to an online survey by Milwaukee-based Northwestern Mutual.

Yet adults who use an advisor are almost twice as likely to feel financially secure, at 68 percent, than those who have not sought professional advice, at 35 percent, according to the survey.

The survey suggested that misconceptions about the financial industry may play a role in the lack of formal planning. Almost 30 percent of respondents believed that having an advisor requires a certain level of assets, and more than 25 percent believe they could not afford professional financial advice.

The study was conducted in January 2015 by Harris Poll and included 5,474 American adults aged 18 and older who participated in an online survey.