Milwaukee (Sept. 4, 2002) -- Despite the conviction that they need help in planning for their futures, many Americans are still making knee-jerk financial decisions without consulting professionals, even though they admit they need help, a new survey has found.

According to a Harris Interactive survey commissioned by insurance and financial services conglomerate Northwestern Mutual, this kind of behavior has increased since the Sept. 11 terror attacks, as people grapple with more terror threats, a confusing economy and a series of corporate scandals.

The poll of more than 1,000 financial decision makers with household incomes of $75,000 or more found that 31 percent feel a greater need for professional financial advice, but of that number, 63 percent still haven’t contacted a professional.

"People are preparing more wills, keeping more cash on hand and making changes to their investment portfolios and retirement plans and they’re doing all these things on their own, even though they feel an increased need for advice," said Northwestern Mutual vice president and CPA Meridee Maynard. "These are the same mistakes many people made in the 80s and 90s when they…failed to consider that investing is just part of a larger financial plan."

--Electronic Accountant Newswire staff

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