Monday, June 25, 2012

The Gender Gap

Experts frequently talk about "gaps" when it comes to financial literacy.  This week's news involves the "gender gap."

USAToday.com has the news on how "women are especially falling behind when it comes to managing money and investing. "

The underlying study is from Financial Finesse.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Sound Familiar?

Deloitte Research recently published a study of the life insurance market.  According to its authors, the study attempted to answer two questions:  what makes life buyers "tick" and why is it that so many consumers do not have the product?

Close readers of this blog can probably answer those questions without reading the study.  What Deloitte found in terms of answers mirrors the research of CFS, LIMRA and many others.  Specifically, it found that the major reason that buyers did not have insurance is because they did not have contact with an agent.

As the survey put it:
As many of those who are currently uninsured noted that a prime reason they don’t have coverage is no one has asked them to buy it. Even those with insurance open to buying additional coverage often say they have not received offers from carriers.
Another fact that the Deloitte study backs up is the notion that life insurance is "sold" and not "bought."
The surveys indicate that carriers cannot afford to wait for prospects to seek them out, as many respondents said they don’t shop for life insurance on their own initiative.
What does it all mean?

First, it is important that the industry make it an effort to recruit and retain agents that connect with prospects.  Second, it means state regulators must make sure there are no unfair barriers to entry standing in the way of the agents that the industry recruits.

We have noted before how issues of fairness in insurance licensing exams may be screening diversity out of the Life industry.


How much does poor financial literacy cost?

A lot, according to a study from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation.  The study looked at the differences between men and women at various levels of financial literacy.  What did they find ?
Women with low levels of financial literacy were more likely to engage in costly credit card behaviors—like incurring late fees—than men with low financial literacy. There were, however, no differences in behavior between men and women with high financial literacy. These findings suggest that increasing financial literacy can improve credit card management and reduce or eliminate gender-based differences in credit card behavior.
Read more.