Suspicious Savers Profile

by Kate FitzpatrickHead of Tribes

In Britain today there are over 8.5 million adults, aged 25-55, who have cash savings or a cash ISA but no investments. They make up the large (and ever-growing) Money Tribe we call Suspicious Savers. For them, investing is something risky, even irresponsible, that other, richer, better-informed people do. Suspicious Savers are exactly that - they tend to believe that investment companies are untrustworthy and they are worried about downside risk.

And yet, this audience represents an opportunity that is real and growing. 43% of them have a workplace or company pension – they are aware of investing and tend to overestimate their own knowledge gap. The barrier is a matter of education and perception – 43% of Suspicious Savers would also seriously consider investing if they got advice from someone they trusted. But how to get started?

For this group, doing the actual saving is the most important thing. They are methodical about putting away a portion of their regular income. Suspicious Savers have goals for their savings, care about instant access to their cash and are prepared for emergencies. And they are very good at what they do: at least 34% of them – almost 3 million people - have over £5,000 squirrelled away.

Suspicious Savers aren’t investing now because:

  • 60% like to have easy access to their money
  • 36% say they are building an emergency fund
  • 38% think that investments are too risky or that holding cash is safer
  • 36% think they do not have enough money to invest with

 However, the following things would help change their minds:

  • 43% would consider an organisation to invest their money through, if it were recommended by family and friends
  • 25% would use a financial adviser to choose what to invest in
  • 52% use comparison websites
  • 18% would want a short list of investments to choose from
  • When looking for organisation to manage their investments, Suspicious Savers' priorities were:
    • Being straightforward, i.e. easy to manage investments and deal with the organisation
    • Strong on security
    • Having good customer service

Suspicious Savers are harder customers to win, but this significant audience is an obvious target for the investment industry, aided by ongoing low interest rates. Once they choose, they tend to stay. Their pools of wealth are only going to grow the longer they work, and they are happy to pay more for quality service.

Throughout 2018 Boring Money will be digging deeper into the behaviours, likes, attitudes and mentality of Suspicious Savers, with both qualitative and quantitative research which will assess attitudes as well as content and communication preferences. Please contact Carmel for details of this quarterly program.