It all seems to be about the big 30 – as according to research from AXA Self Investor this is the age when consumer confidence really kicks in.
It appears that when people reach 30 they feel much more in control of making big lifestyle choices. Buying a house will probably be the largest decision, and it seems that the percentage of consumers confident making a decision on buying or renting a property jumps from 46% between the ages of 20 – 29 to 73% at 30 +.
Similar leaps in confidence can also be seen in buying a car, choosing a broadband provider and choosing an energy supplier when people hit the 30 milestone – and interestingly this level of confidence remains for many years. It seems that once consumers hit the age of 30 they rely a lot less on advice and a lot more on their own intuition when it comes to important financial decisions.
Spending a bit of time on research and comparing deals is a great way to get clued up on many of life's larger purchases, and if you do your background investigations then you will feel much more in control and be able to get the best deals for your hard-earned cash.
However, there was one area where consumers didn't show a vast leap of confidence – and that was investments. Just 18% of 20 – 29 year olds were confident buying stock and shares and this only rose to 32% when people hit 30. Stocks and shares ISAs can be a great way to make your money work harder for you, and with the current state of the savings market, many people could be thinking of seeking out better interest returns.
In the Budget 2014 new rules were announced that will enable savers to move their ISA money from cash into stocks and shares and back again freely. This may give people a bit more confidence in dabbling in the stock market, but remember your investments can go down as well as up so it's right to be cautious. Read our guide on stocks and shares ISAs to ensure you are more clued up.
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."
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Read our guide to stocks and shares ISAs
Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
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