I always look forward to receiving Sun Life's financial literacy report or the Study of Lifestyles Attitudes and Relationships Financial Literacy Report (SOLAR FLARe), as it pretty much sums up our financial quotient as a country. It also helps that the report is presented in a very easy to comprehend slideshow (much appreciated!).
For the recent SOLAR FLARe, Sun Life interviewed 1,100 respondents from the middle to upper income segments and here are the factoids that struck me:
- Filipinos are optimistic- 87% expect their financial situation to go up.
- Filipinos define financial security as having enough savings in the bank (!!)
- Most Filipinos are confident about how they manage their finances, with 20% claiming to be experts, but only 8% scored above 80% in a basic financial literacy test.
- The Philippines has a higher rate of insurance penetration than the United States.
I am not surprised with the news on Filipino optimism, after all it seems to be deeply rooted in our psyche. But this time around, the optimism seems to be misplaced because how can you be optimistic about your financial security if you only have your bank savings to fall back on? Talk about blind optimism.
The good news is that more Filipinos are getting themselves financially educated and are looking beyond bank savings. The bad news is, not enough Filipinos are doing so.
For now, I'd like to focus on the good and contribute to increasing the average by continuing with my personal mission to educate as much of my friends on personal finance and investments.
These are definitely exciting times to be a financial nerd :)