30 percent don't know what an action is – Repubblica.it


ROME – The prospectus, this stranger. 30 percent of Italians are unable to correctly explain what an action or a common fund is, 21 percent do not know what inflation is, and even less can they indicate the relationship between risk and return , yet more than 40 percent "are recognized for their ability to manage their finances". Except then, in concrete terms, relying blindly on a consultant without the slightest effort to read the prospectuses of the securities that are purchased, or worry about collecting some more data than the communications of the managers. The banking crises in Italy have swept away over 200 thousand savers, but evidently they have not taught anything, judging by the data emerging from the Report presented this morning by Consob on "Financial knowledge, attitudes and investments of Italian families".The Italians confirm themselves as big savers, when they can: in 2018 the difficulties became more marked, so that the gross financial assets of families recorded a contraction of 3.1 per cent, well above that of 0.5 per cent recorded in the euro area. And yet, Consob points out, "overall the net wealth of Italian families in relation to disposable income remains higher than the figure in the Eurozone". In addition, the gross domestic saving rate returns to growth for the first time since 2014.
The composition of the savings of Italians changes: even if among the aspirations there are always real estate purchases, more and more insurance and social security policies are bought, and bonds are reduced. As a trend, however, Italians remain more than hostile to risk, even the smallest: two thirds of those interviewed say they are not even willing to invest in products that present a very limited risk. Not even the roles in the family change: it is almost always men who make the investment decisions (orientation indicated by three quarters of the interviewees).The lack of financial culture extends to the ability to perform simple mathematical operations: 54% of respondents are unable to perform a percentage calculation. But this does not affect the optimism and confidence of Italians: in fact 28 percent overestimate their financial culture, very few underestimate. Faced with simple questions like what is Bitcoin (but also what a current account is), only 4 percent can give a correct definition of the main investment products.

The main sources of information are the family, even recognized as the main source of its financial culture, the friends and acquaintances to whom one turns to find a trusted consultant. Divided between blind entrustment and excessive distrust, Italians are not too willing to pay for the service, believing in most cases that financial advice should be provided free of charge.

Finally, the Consob Report examines the relationship of Italians with sustainable and socially responsible investments. 40 percent say they have heard of it, but only 5 percent think they are adequately informed. Overall, they are little known and therefore not very sought after, also because the differences between this type of investment and all the others are not very clear. The wealthier subjects and those with a higher level of education and financial knowledge are better off, who are also able to express a demand for this type of financial products.

"The Republic will always fight in defense of freedom of information, for its readers and for all those who care about the principles of democracy and civil society"


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