Use of language that is "technical and confusing" by financial services firms is leading many Americans to make investing mistakes and miss opportunities, according to a survey by AARP Financial Inc.
More than half (52%) of those surveyed said they had made an investment resulting in an unfavorable outcome, because they felt "confused" or "didn't understand" the investment, according to the survey.
Additionally, more than half of those surveyed (54%) said they did not read financial literature, because "it's too hard to understand."
"Financial jargon can have painful and enduring consequences," said Richard Hisey, chief investment officer at AARP Financial of Tewksbury, Mass.
"Americans face enough roadblocks on the road to a financially secure retirement. Poor communication should not be one of them."
When asked what grade the financial services industry should receive on explaining saving and investing to consumers, two-thirds of the respondents gave it a C, D or F.
Forty-one percent of respondents said information from financial services companies was "not so helpful" or "not at all helpful."
The telephone survey, of 1,203 adults, was conducted in January and February by GfK Custom Research North America of New York.