Improving one's home or changing jobs are seen as the two most important financial triggers, according to a survey of 12,000 UK adults published by TGI Marketing.
The research has been carried out to understand what sort of financial business opportunities are linked with what sort of life events, as part of TGI Marketing's ongoing research into consumer habits.
The research is relied on by financial marketers, mostly operating within or on behalf of providers, to gain a better understanding of the markets in which they operate.
Richard Bedwell, consultant at TGI Marketing, says understanding at least the size of future market potential for financial products is key to the success of these marketers and their firms.
Methodology used to achieve the answers included asking the sample size of 12,000 individuals to note details of "the significant life events", which happened to them in the proceeding year. They were also asked to state their expectation of similar events happening over the next 12-month period.
According to the findings, 13% of adults questioned this way stated home improvements were the most significant event, with a change of job a close second at 12%, over the past year.
Looking forward, the same triggers of financial activity were seen, with 14% predicting home improvements and 9% predicting a change of job.
"But comparison of the two is revealing due to the levels of difference," says Bedwell.
"Of course social change happens and figures are unlikely to remain the same for ever. But such change is usually very gradual and big differences are much more likely to reflect high levels of optimism or pessimism."
"One of the largest such difference is between the number of those who expect to become in-laws and the proportion who actually did, the former being fully 50% higher than the latter. At the same time the number of people who expect to get married in the near future is about 60% more than actually tied the knot the year before. These may be signs of major disappointment being on the horizon for some – and maybe some unspent savings?"
"Such disappointment is also potentially reflected by the fact that the numbers who report that they are expecting to go to university exceed the number that actually did go the year before by some 65%. However on the other side of the optimism coin is the expectation of a grandchild being born which is 30% below that of the previous year."
"The fact remains that, going from these data at least, some things are more predictable than others while the figure for those who expect to move in with their partner is identical with those that actually reported as having done this the year before. Such surprises and inaccurate predictions can be a lot closer to home and have even more financial impact."
"The level of predicted retirement in the next year is only half that which actually happened in the previous one. This shortfall is disproportionately made up by a relatively serious underestimation of how many people will actually retire at the peak ages of 60 and 65, a shortfall only partly somewhat counterbalanced by an overestimation of retirement levels in the years immediately before those peaks. Again the control that people have over their lives is perhaps demonstrated to be less than they might like to think that it is."
Bedwell says it is not surprising many life events are highly correlated with life stage. TGI Marketing's own 'Lifestage classification', suggests those under 34 and married without children are about five times more likely than the average to have bought a house within the past year.
Those aged 35-54, married but with no children at home have a disproportionate propensity to both move home and change jobs.
From the point of view of financial marketers it is important to remember not everyone in a particular segment is going to necessarily go through a similar experience, hence to tailor advertising accordingly.
For financial intermediaries, similarly, besides recognising when to try to attract, retain and convert leads into solid business, the figures also provide some guidance as to where particular types of products may be more or less in demand.
"Using TGI’s segmentation based on levels of media exposure shows that those most likely to visit the cinema are twice as likely to have got married in the previous year as they are to have carried out home improvements," Bedwell continues.
"Radio is significantly better at delivering the 35-54s and those who made major home improvements last year, as it is at providing those recently married. Those who changed job were twice as likely to be in the top 20% of those exposed to the internet as they were to be found in the equivalent newspaper reading group – and the targeting implications don’t get any less strong when we look at those who expect to move employment in the near future."
If you have any comments you would like to add to this story or would like to speak to its author about a similar subject, telephone Jonathan Boyd on 020 7484 9769 or email [email protected].IFAonline
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