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Friday, January 14, 2011

Indians' fin literacy levels better than most others: Survey

Indians have better financial literacy levels than most others globally and rank second out of 10 leading nations in having a basic financial literacy level, according to a recent survey.

Indians turn out to be the second out of 10 leading nations in the world to have a basic financial literacy level (55 per cent), just behind the Japanese, an ING Consumer Resourcefulness Survey, said.

A majority of Indian consumers have not only shown better skills in managing their household financial budget but are also confident of facing any financial impediments in future as compared to citizens of nine other countries, the survey said.

The survey was carried out among 5,000 consumers across ten major nations, including India, the USA, Mexico, The Netherlands, Romania, Poland, Belgium, Spain, Korea and Japan.

The survey shows that a whopping 84 per cent of Indians prefer buying life insurance products as compared to 54 per cent globally. A similar percentage of Indians believe in maintaining a household budget with a focus on savings.

The survey shows that Indians are better at managing their finances than most of the other countries in the survey, including being better prepared for their various life stages, especially retirement.

However, they do tend to get lost in sourcing good advice to become better at money. We at ING Life India clearly see a lot of opportunities through this survey, as our products are focused at various life-stage needs of our customers and our advisors are trained to help them manage their financial future.

Indians are much "risk averse" in case of borrowing money, the survey said.

"While average Indians manage their finances in a much organised manner, they borrow money in case of needs such as buying a home (50 per cent) and purchase of a car (43 per cent)," the survey said.

87 per cent of Indian households have an emergency fund compared to 33 per cent globally. "Apparently this helps Indians feel less despair than the global average when it comes to negative emotions around debt," it said.

The survey finds a correlation between a person's financial literacy and his or her emotional well-being.

"The more people are financially literate, the more they experience feelings of happiness," the survey said.

Overall, the survey revealed that Asians are by far the most financially literate and also eager to learn more. They actively follow their budgets and develop habits of acquiring knowledge before taking financial decisions, the survey said.

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