Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Research: 'Dont forget to live in the real world'

A few months ago, I went to a research day that went through the latest findings on a regular report that is done across a number of categories and different elements. I went with a collegue who works on a financial client.

One of the elements they discussed from the findings was that 'In general, consumers have a general confidence in their individual financial postion'. Straight away my collegue and I sat up and said 'what'.

We live in a debt ridden society. Westernised countries contain the largest budget deficits than ever before (I think I heard America was at 290 trillion the other day) If the governments are loving debt, surely the people are worse.

Yesterdays metro shouldve had 'UK's DEBT HELL' across the masthead instead of the Metro. I know the press love to talk it up. But there was still some very useful numbers in there. So if we were to compare the two it would go something like this.

Round 1.

There is polarisation of the debt market: one side slightly sophisticated => others who are LESS CAPABLE of managing financies.
5300 people a day and 1.4 mill a year are seeking advice on debt problems
YOY increase on website traffic 83%
Round 2.
I worry about the amount of debt that I have - 8%
Paying off debt is a financial priority - 16%
(pretty small %'s of people)
Yet £12Billion was lent to british people in the last 6 months with no proof they can pay it back.
300 people a day declare themselves insolvent
I guess my point is that we can research ourselves to death and people will often say one thing and do the opposite or even something else again. I have highlighted on Asi's blog before that there is a very 'formularised' approach to research, that we all often get caught up in. But how do you bad mouth a well put together research report when it just doesnt feel right.
It helps to have data to back up your thoughts. But sometimes its not that easy

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