Purpose – In order to classify individuals based on their needs, this paper aims to consider both self-stated attitudes and behaviours in a comprehensive range of daily financial affairs. Furthermore, it aims to study the impacts of socio-demographic variables such as gender, age, and education.
Design/methodology/approach – A questionnaire was answered by 1,282 respondents in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. Factor analysis revealed five components. Based on these components a two-step cluster analysis (Ward and K-means analyses) identified distinct subgroups. Linear regressions were used to investigate the impacts of socio-demographic variables.
Findings – Factor analysis revealed five underlying dimensions of financial attitudes and behaviour: anxiety, interests in financial issues, decision styles, need for precautionary savings, and spending tendency. Cluster analysis segmented the respondents into five subgroups based on these dimensions with an ascending order of specific needs for financial products. Gender, age, and education were found to have significant impacts.
Research limitations/implications – Real consumption behaviour cannot be observed through the survey, which limits the external validity of the study.
Practical implications – The segmentation identifies different levels of financial competence and needs for financial products. It allows financial service providers to offer more effective advice and to meet customers on their own level to improve personal financial management.
Originality/value – Attitudes and behaviours in daily financial affairs are examined to reveal individuals' financial competence and consequential product needs. A heterogeneous sample covers a variety of demographic groups.