Among defined contribution plan participants, there is no clear-cut choice for a type of advisor to use for managing assets, according to the Spectrem report, ‘Advisor Usage Among DC Plan Participants’.

The report also revealed that only 53% of plan participants use an advisor. The ones who do use an advisor use a variety of advisor types for their financial advice needs.

Eleven percent of 401(K) participants use a Full Service Broker, the most popular choice. But several types of advisors garnered 9 percent of the participants – Banker, Independent Financial Planner and Mutual Fund Company Representative. Another set of three types were selected by 7% or 8% of participants – Accountant (7%), Discount Broker (7%) and Investment Manager (8%).

Five percent of plan participants use an Insurance Agent for financial advice.

The numbers vary greatly when the report looks at plan participants of a certain age. Among plan participants aged 65 and over, 24% prefer an Accountant and 23% choose to use a Banker. Twenty percent use a Full Service Broker, and 15% use an Investment Manager as a financial advisor.

Among the youngest 401(k) participants (35 years of age and younger), an Investment Manager is the most popular choice, with 17% using one of those. The only other type of investor to be used by 10% of the youngest participants is a Full Service Broker (10%).

Male plan participants are slightly more likely to use an advisor than female participants, as 49% of women and 45% of men do not use an advisor of any type. Among men, 13% use a Discount Broker, 11% prefer the Mutual Fund Company Representative, and 10% use an Independent Financial Planner.

Thirteen percent of women prefer the Full Service Broker, and 9% use a Banker for financial advice.

Advisor usage also differs based on the balance participants have in their account. While 56% of participants with less than US$10,000 in their account don’t use an advisor, 39% of those with US$100,000 or more in their account do use an advisor, and 16% of those prefer a Full Service Broker.

Fourteen percent of participants with US$100,000 or more in their account prefer an Independent Financial Planner.

Among participants with between US$50,000 and US$99,000 in their accounts, 16%use a Mutual Fund Company Representative as their financial advisor.

On the low end of account balances, 11% use a Full Service Broker and 10% prefer a Mutual Fund Company Representative.