On the 26th January, the eighth edition of the Consob Report on the investment decisions of Italian households was published, based on a survey conducted by GFK Italia on ‘Italian households’ approach to finance and investments’. This survey was carried out on a sample of 1,436 individuals that represented the Italian investor population, 80% of whom are men.
The Report reveals findings on the financial knowledge, attitudes and decisions of Italian investors, which include the following:
- 65% of survey participants understand the effects of inflation, but more than a third fail to grasp the impact of increased prices on their purchasing power. The financial understanding of basic concepts that underlie financial instruments and risk remains insufficient.
- 60% of participants find it challenging to reach their financial goals, while more than 50% find these goals difficult to reach when faced with unexpected expenses, and 40% are concerned with the extent of resources that are available to them after their retirement.
- The percentage of financially vulnerable families struggling to meet their fixed expenses due to the uncertain economic environment and rising prices, has increased to 37% of the sample pool (from 33% in 2021).
- Investors who seek professional advice are not fully acquainted with the specific features of advisory services. Only 39% of participants are aware that such services are reserved exclusively to members of the Italian Professional Register of Financial Advisors. Those who have received professional advice have a more diversified portfolio and generally have a stronger inclination towards sustainable investment, whilst the remaining households invest in Certificates of Deposit and Postal Savings Bonds (50% of households), Mutual Funds (29%) and Government Bonds (18%).
- In terms of investors’ level of familiarity with digital knowledge and skills that ensure secure Internet usage, and in terms of their understanding of digital assets and investment services that use online platforms, 29% of participants that engage in online trading are unable to identify the duties of the platform operator towards the investor. In spite of this, the percentage of participants who use the internet to trade cryptocurrencies and to trade online is augmenting.
- Only 11% of participants hold sustainable investments, yet there is a widespread interest in such investments which could result in a significant increase.
- When analysing gender differences on a sample (2,085 individuals) which includes women, findings show that risk and loss aversion as well as a tendency to underestimate one’s financial knowledge are prevalent amongst female participants. Women also tend to be less acquainted with financial instruments, sustainability and digital investment services, and are less inclined towards online trading, yet are more likely than their male counterparts to seek professional support.