Recently, Observation Baltimore surveyed 1,000 Baltimore area residents. Respondents were asked a variety of questions associated with financial health and planning. Here, we assess the statistics and gain insight into how local residents feel about topics such as financial priorities, investable assets, debt, and where to turn for financial advice.
Of the 1,000 respondents surveyed, 60% have under $100k in investable assets while 35% have between $100k and $1million. Twenty-six percent (26%) of those surveyed reported feeling optimistic about their financial future. However, a significant percentage, 41%, indicated they feel uncertain or concerned. Of the 41% that fall into the uncertain/concerned segment, 56% have less than $50k in investable assets.
Saving is not the Number One Priority
We asked Baltimore area residents what their most important financial priority is today. They responded in the following way; 38% selected “staying current with bills”, 30% “paying off debt”, 16% “supporting my family and/or friends”, 15% “saving money”, and 1% said “something else”. It is no surprise that many respondents reported feeling uncertain/concerned about their financial future when a great deal of financial responsibilities rank as higher priorities than beginning to save for the future. Only 10% of respondents report they do not have any debt, which leaves 90% who have debt and are working to pay it off/down before they put more emphasis on saving for the future. Life is a balancing act; while planning for our financial future is extremely important, we tend to focus on our immediate environment including things like paying off debt and staying current with existing bills/expenses.
Who to Turn to for Advice
Even though only 15% of those surveyed ranked “saving money” as their number one priority, 805 of the 1,000 respondents ranked it as one of their top 5 priorities. So, who do Baltimore area residents turn to for advice when it comes to planning for their financial future? We asked respondents “where do you regularly get financial information?” (respondents were allowed to select multiple responses that applied to them). Thirty-seven percent (37%) trust friends and family members to give sound financial advice, 36% financial websites, 34% financial advisors, and 29% financial newspapers/magazines/television programs. Only 13% report seeking advice from a financial advisor who they also allow to manage and make decisions regarding their money. A much larger percentage of residents, 71%, report that they manage all of their own finances/saving/investments without the input of a financial professional.
About Observation Baltimore:
At Observation Baltimore, we understand that the success of your research is directly tied to the quality of your participants. Our experienced recruiting is the foundation of our mission, as well as courteous and proactive hospitality and client services. Just six minutes from BWI airport and AMTRAK, our Baltimore research facility has a great location. Most importantly, we understand market research!