Consumers “overwhelmed” by choice

by Miklos Bolza15 Dec 2017
Despite the majority of Australians seeing themselves as financially savvy, a significant proportion of consumers are overwhelmed by the choice offered in the finance sector, a new whitepaper has found.

Mortgage Choice’s Australian Financial Savviness Whitepaper found that 39% of Australians struggle to make good financial decisions because they have difficulty understanding the range of options available.

The traditional view is that choice is a “must have” within a strong financial services industry, said Mortgage Choice CEO John Flavell.

“Yet, our data makes it clear that Australians are currently overwhelmed by too much choice.”

The whitepaper also found that 37% of Australians found merely deciding between all available options was a hurdle to becoming financially savvy.

Flavell noted the important role that mortgage brokers can play in this area by giving Australians more information on the options available to them.

“While our data found that one in three Australians feel as though their circumstances do not warrant seeing a financial adviser, 73% of those who did seek professional financial advice said their personal and financial wellbeing was improved as a direct result.”

A savvy nation

The whitepaper also found that Australians were remarkably confident about their own personal knowledge with 77.2% considering themselves ‘money smart’.

Those over the age of 60 and under 30 boasted the highest proportion of those considering themselves financial savvy, said Flavell.

“Over 85% of those aged 60 years and over were happy to label themselves ‘financially savvy’, while almost 80% of those under the age of 30 gave themselves the same title.”

Australians 30 years and under were also more likely to consider themselves superior to their peers with regards to being money smart.

“Over 55% of those under the age of 30 considered themselves to be ‘a lot smarter’ than their peers when it came to money. At the other end of the spectrum, just 35% of those over the age of 60 said they were smarter than their peers.”

The whitepaper took research from the survey results of more than 1,040 Australians in order to get a representative view of the nation.

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