While we don’t often highlight fund manger generated research, Black Rock Investment Management, one of the worlds largest fund managers, recently completed a global survey of what people the world over were most concerned about when considering their financial futures.
The survey covered 12 developed economies and 17,600 people in total of which 1000 were from Australia. The results from each country were then benchmarked against the collective results to identify what was different or unique to that specific country.
In Australia’s case it seems overall most people are concerned with the state of the Australian economy, followed closely by job security and then rising cost of living pressures – but the ranking of what was most concerning to Australian’s depended (not surprisingly) on the levels of income the respondents earned.
There were a number of other key findings from the Australian research results:
- Property for both residential and investment purposes is a higher priority for Australians when compared to the rest of the world, possibly reflecting the tax advantages of negative gearing & the tax exempt status of the principal residence;
- Compared to the global average, Australian’s are slightly more positive about their financial future than their global counterparts;
- When it comes to taking investment risks the less affluent were less confident & those over 64 years of age were generally the most risk averse;
- As with Americans, Australians spend roughly 50% of their income servicing mortgages & other debts, paying rent & utilities – which is significantly higher than the global average.
Overall, almost half of the Australian’s surveyed were feeling positive about their financial future. Importantly, feeling positive about finances is much higher for those Australian’s who use a financial adviser (isn’t that good to hear)!
With regard to retirement expectations, the majority of global retirees recommend people start saving for retirement as early as possible. Australian retirees were the most enthusiastic about the need to plan for retirement with 76% encouraging others to start saving as early as possible, 72% encouraging long term thinking, and 76% recommending paying off debt.
The full report makes interesting reading. To read the entire Black Rock Investor Pulse Survey 2013 click on this link