An unexpected expense of a thousand euros and the family goes into crisis

A thousand euro emergency is enough to put Italian families in crisis. Unaware ants who, raised on bread and Aesop, are used to saving by tradition and culture (so much so that overall net financial wealth has increased by 6% in line with the European average), but without any clear planning objectives and, above all, without the ability to do it best.

This was revealed by the VII Report 2021 on the investment choices of Italian families of Consob, from which only apparently conflicting data emerge: on the one hand, in fact, 39% of the interviewees report that they are in difficulty in facing fixed and recurring expenses and a further 28 % who claim not to be able to manage a thousand euro unexpected event, while on the other hand 36% of participants do not know how to use their funds, to which is added another 19% who, with galloping inflation, he prefers to leave the money under the mattress. The data must be read within a context in which, despite two years of pandemic showing the need to be prepared for any unforeseen event, only 11% of respondents declare that they have a financial plan and respect the budget, to compared to 75% who admit to saving, mostly by reducing expenses and, for 24% of participants, without particular reasons.

“Most investors don’t have an independent financial plan, especially a long-term one. Consequently, their savings are a residual resulting from the individually available income net of the expenses incurred ”, remarked Paolo Savona, president of Consob.

Furthermore, only 28% of Italian families seek the support of a professional for their investment choices (from 17% in 2019), trust in financial intermediaries is decidedly low (half of the interviewees do not have any) and culture financial is modest. Only 40% of respondents are able to identify the correct answer, in a non-causal way, on questions related to the correlation between risk and return, compound interest rate, inflation, mortgage and risk diversification, while 16% of respondents overestimate their skills. “Two risk factors emerge from this cross-section: the first is that half of the sample has no confidence in any savings broker; the second, that a large majority of investors consider the repayment guarantee to be the main variable influencing investment choices “, reiterates Savona, who highlights how savers ask for protection from the financial control authorities and the compensation of losses.

“But in the case of cryptocurrencies, who reimburses them? We do not know, it is another element that is ignored », observes the president of Consob. The issue is delicate, considering that the Italians, closed at home between lockdowns and quarantines, have dedicated themselves to trading (only as regards shares, the total number of purchase and sale transactions stood at 41 billion from 31 in 2019 ), with a growing interest in crypto assets, «assets characterized by high heterogeneity and strong price volatility». “With the information asymmetries that are accentuated with the change in monetary policies, increasingly invasive, and the spread of cryptocurrencies, achieving Consob’s objective becomes increasingly difficult, even more so due to the persistence of ignorance in financial matters”, concluded Savona.

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