ThinkNow Money™ – Report 2017

Total Market Report On Personal Finances

On the heels of one of the best job reports in 10 years, ThinkNow Research has released their annual report that delves into opinions regarding personal finance among the Total Market. ThinkNow Money™ is a nationwide survey that investigates Americans’ attitudes around their money and financial situations. The study looks at Americans as a whole and by key race/ethnic segments.

While unemployment rate hit a 10–year low of 4.4% in April, most Americans expressed at least some concern about their financial future

Q. Please select the point in the scale that describes how much you agree or disagree with each statement.

Hispanics are most concerned overall; Asian-Americans the least. Asians are also the least likely to feel financially overwhelmed. This is in line with larger financial trends even though Hispanic incomes have been rising, they were one of the groups hit hardest by the recession. Conversely, Asians have been able to insulate themselves from the recession effects fairly well and have one of the highest average incomes in relation to the Total Market.

Another positive aspect for the economy as a whole is rising home prices. Much of Americans’ net worth is tied up in their homes which are providing a welcome boost in net-worth for homeowners. However, home ownership is significantly lower among specific Total Market groups such as Hispanics and African-Americans. This is due to several factors, one key factor being lower average household incomes.

This is reflected in our ThinkNow Money report in which we explored sentiments regarding investments and savings

Q. Please select the point in the scale that describes how much you agree or disagree with each statement.

Hispanics and African-Americans are the least likely to say they are actively saving money and/or investing for retirement. Conversely, across the segments, Asian-Americans are the most likely to be saving.

This represents a significant opportunity for the financial industry. Many tech startups are already addressing Hispanics and African-Americans through mobile fintech solutions that allow for individuals to save and invest easily through their mobile phones. More traditional financial institutions are also getting targeting the under-saved segment through marketing addressing these gaps and solutions that allow individuals to open financial products with little effort.

Delving deeper into investments, most Americans believe
in investing their money

Q. Please select the point in the scale that describes how much you agree or disagree with each statement.

However, Hispanics appear to be the most risk averse. This has been another barrier for Hispanic increasing their wealth and provides yet another opportunity for financial institutions to gain customers that have not traditionally sought investment opportunities. This is yet another industry that fintech startups have been eyeing as the barrier for entry.

Lastly, when looking at personal saving habits, Hispanics and African-Americas report being the most cautious about how they spend their money



Yet, they are more likely to buy themselves something every now and then compare to Whites and Asian-Americans. This tension between saving and spending is an interesting dynamic for marketers in the financial industry to explore and leaves ample area for savvy strategic marketers to position their client’s financial products in the minds of Hispanics and African-Americans.

In fact, Hispanics and African Americans represent the largest untapped market for financial services. Historically they’ve had fewer financial services products, such as checking accounts, credit cards, IRA’s and Brokerage Accounts than other groups. While lower incomes have played a role in some of these decisions, the lack of information on these products is a barrier to many who would otherwise qualify for them and simply don’t know the benefits of having them.

In conclusion, while the American economy is at its strongest since the great recession, when you delve into the specific segments of the Total Market the financial outlook is a little more complex. Cultural and historic factors play a large part on how each segment of the Total Market looks at finance and investments. For marketers and brand managers working in this field, understanding the nuances of how something as personal as finance is viewed across each segment is key to winning these increasingly affluent consumer segments.

Download the full report

ThinkNow Research is an award-winning culturally-integrated market research agency. We integrate Hispanic, African-American, and Asian insights into custom market research for companies and government agencies looking to thrive in a changing demographic environment.

ThinkNow Research also owns and operates one of the largest and most representative Hispanic online panels in the industry,, which is used to service our own research as well as provide sample to the leading market research companies in the world.

As of April 1st, 2012, ThinkNow Research is certified by the National Minority Supplier Development Council and approved by the Southern California Minority Business Development Council as a minority owned and managed company.

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