Money confidence begins at 30

In their thirties is when most people’s confidence with their finances increases, according to new research.

People are now getting married at 30 and buying their first home at 35. At a time where concerns have been raised about consumers’ ability to make savvy financial decisions over a range of cost of living rises, the research by AXA Self Investor shows how confident people are about making their own informed decisions for 20 lifestyle purchases.

The report has found that, when it comes to more serious lifestyle purchases - such as buying a house or car, or choosing an energy supplier - consumer confidence in decision-making shot up for people in their thirties and stayed at the same level for the years that followed. Reliance on advice fell accordingly for people in their thirties and beyond, suggesting an increase in consumer empowerment and better control over their finances.

82% of 30-39 year olds said they felt confident in choosing a broadband provider, compared to 55% of those aged 20-29, and this pattern continues across the majority of lifestyle purchases surveyed. Investing in stocks and shares was the only purchase where there was no big rise in consumer confidence with age.

Gordon Hull, managing director at AXA Self Investor, commented: “For me, the key finding from the research is that, unsurprisingly, after a challenging few years consumers are taking control of the buying decisions they make. I think these more savvy decisions that people have been forced to adopt during this difficult period will last through the recovery.

“A real concern though, is the lack of confidence when it comes to buying investments. For most people, confidence and personal control of buying decisions correlates with when they are settling down, starting families and planning for the future. It is clear from this research that the financial services community needs to work a lot harder to ensure this is a time when people decide to take control over their financial planning, so that buying an ISA, for example, is seen to be no more complex than buying a car or choosing a mobile phone tariff.”