Perspectives : DC Retirement | September 26, 2022

Economist Impact-Vanguard podcasts explore investors’ needs for financial advice

How do Americans decide what’s best financially for themselves and their families when wealth-generation options keep expanding and when the market keeps changing?

As we field a full range of advice services for institutional plan sponsors and their employees, Vanguard has partnered with The Economist Group on a three-episode podcast series about how financial advice is evolving to meet investors’ changing needs.

At Vanguard, our number one goal is to help investors reach their financial goals. Because each person who invests in our funds is an owner1, we are keenly focused on improving their outcomes.

Advice is one important way we help people—our investor-owners—navigate the complex, sometimes emotion-laden path to financial well-being.

This podcast series of three 20-minute episodes highlights insights from Vanguard and other financial experts and details results of the recent Economist Impact survey of 1,200 American investors.

Episode 1: The universe of financial choice

Focus: The COVID-19 pandemic has deeply impacted how people feel about finances and receiving investment advice. Additionally, a profound shift in attitudes toward work and saving is driving the investment decisions of young Americans.

Highlights: 52% of American families have direct or indirect investments in the stock market.2

Plus, expert perspectives on: The importance of distinguishing between saving and long-term wealth building when planning for a secure retirement.

To help our institutional clients’ employees meet their financial and retirement goals amid such complexity, Vanguard offers a comprehensive suite of advice services, including both all-digital and advisor-led, with integrated financial wellness tools and resources.

Illustration of mother working with her teenage son and elementary school-aged son on a money-related project.

Video Length: 20:20

No one ever says, ‘How could a doctor help?’ You shouldn’t feel bad about needing help with your finances. Ryan Barrows Head of registered investment advisors Vanguard Financial Advisor Services

Episode 2: The human investor

Focus: As Americans' investment choices and control over investments increase, so does their uncertainty about their ability to manage their finances. Advice can help investors navigate this paradox.

Highlights: Despite the vast sources of information available, most investors rely on financial advisors (52.1%) or family (39.6%) when seeking financial advice.3

Plus, expert perspectives on: When people are most likely to seek and pay for advice.

Vanguard’s advice services support employees with proven investment methodologies aligned to their goals and, if desired, onetime or ongoing support from our noncommissioned, fully credentialed advisors.

Illustration of the mother from Episode 1 illustration talking with a man, asking for and receiving financial advice.

Video Length: 20:14

Investing is emotional . . . It’s hard to get away from that. Janelle McDonald Principal and head of Vanguard’s Relationship Management Group

Episode 3: The confident investor

Focus: Financial advice can make investors feel more confident by helping them understand what investment levers they can control to reach their goals, even through market volatility.

Highlights: 60% of investors who rely on advisors think they are ahead of their peers, compared with 28% who rely on the internet.3

Plus, expert perspectives on: How more investors are seeking holistic financial advice to navigate the complex world of wealth management.

The Vanguard Financial Wellness hub surrounds institutional clients’ employees with tools, education, and services that can help guide them to better financial outcomes. Our advice services stand ready to assist employees who want additional support reaching their financial and retirement goals.

Illustration of the mother from Episodes 1 and 2 illustrations confidently walking among a group of four other people, satisfied with the status of her financial well-being.

Video Length: 19:48

Having so much information available at our fingertips can make it difficult for us to make choices. Amanda Levis Behavioral economist, Vanguard

1 Vanguard is investor-owned, meaning the fund shareholders own the funds, which in turn own Vanguard.

2 More Than Half of U.S. Households Have Some Investment in the Stock Market. Kim Parker and Richard Fry, Pew Research Center, March 2020.

3 The New American Investor: Finding Confidence in Their Financial Future. Economist Impact, May 2022.

More information

For more information on how Vanguard helps institutional clients’ employees navigate financial complexity, check out:

Vanguard’s Employee Advice Services

Vanguard’s Financial Wellness program

Featuring information on:

  • My Financial Wellness online hub that provides employees with a wellness assessment, personalized educationalcontent, relevant tools, and action plans.
  • Partnerships with HealthEquity for health savings accounts, Candidly for student loan debt services, Newport Group retirement services for nonqualified plans, and EQ to support equity compensation plans.


  • All investing is subject to risk, including the possible loss of the money you invest.
  • Advice services are provided by Vanguard Advisers, Inc., a registered investment advisor, or by Vanguard National Trust Company, a federally chartered, limited-purpose trust company.
  • The Economist and Vanguard podcasts originally appeared in June 2022 as “The expanding universe of choice,” produced by Economist Impact.

Podcast sources:

  • “Americans Can’t Get Enough of the Stock Market”, The Wall Street Journal, May 2, 2021.
  • The New American Investor: Finding Confidence in Their Financial Future. Economist Impact, The Economist Group, May 2022.
  • A Visual Depiction of the Shift from Defined Benefit (DB) to Defined Contribution (DC) Pension Plans in the Private Sector, Congressional Research Service, December 27, 2021.
  • The New Map of Life: A Report from The Stanford Center on Longevity, Stanford University, April 2022.
  • "Choice Proliferation, Simplicity Seeking, and Asset Allocation".  Sheena S. Iyengar and Emir Kamenica, Journal of Public Economics, 2010.