Britons modest about their wealth, study shows

Article date: 13 June 2001

BRITONS are feeling optimistic about their financial futures,but aren't greedy when it comes to wealth, a new study showstoday.

More than two-thirds of online Britons describe themselves asbeing financially comfortable - but two in five think that justanother £5,000 of savings a year would be enough to make them feelreally wealthy.

What's more, if a big windfall came their way they wouldn't blowthe lot on flashy sports cars and designer clothes. Most peoplewould use the money to pay off their mortgage and invest for thefuture so that they could retire early.'s 'Wired Wealth' study amongst more than 1,000online Britons reveals that as a nation we're feeling upbeat aboutour financial futures, even though there are fears of a globaleconomic downturn.

And people are confident about managing their money themselves.Four out of five are happy to make their own financial decisions inan effort to attain 'wealth' and more than half of people are usingthe internet weekly to research financial information.'s 'Wired Wealth' study identified three typesof individuals:

  • The Strugglers
  • The Comfortables
  • The Wealthies


  • Less than 25% of people describe themselves as struggling withtheir finances. The Strugglers have a yearly household income ofaround £30,000, total savings and investments of just over £7,000,a house valued at £126,000 and a car worth about £8,000.Strugglers are more likely to have children living at home - andare clearly fighting a losing battle to keep some of their hardearned cash for themselves
  • 70 per cent of online Britons claim to be comfortable. TheComfortables household income is only £5,000 more than theStrugglers at £35,000, but they have double the amount of savingsand investments (£14,000). Their home is only slightly moreexpensive at £150,000 and they have a car worth £10,000
  • Just six per cent describe themselves as wealthy even thoughtheir savings and investments - at £20,000 - are only £6,000 morethan the Comfortables. The Wealthies also derive a feeling offinancial well-being from the value of their homes. At £283,000their homes are worth much more than the other groups and there'susually a car worth about £13,000 sitting in the driveway. TheWealthies have a yearly household income of about £45,000.

Commenting on the findings, managing director,Nicholas Smith, said: "Our research shows a nation of onlineBritons who have a clear vision of what they want their money to dofor them - owning their own home and funding early retirement byinvesting for the future. They are focused on financial securityand are increasingly using the internet to sort out their financialneeds.

"We have developed to help people make moreconfident financial decisions and achieve their ambitions. Ourservice is designed to appeal to everyone - unlike other players inthe wealth management market who target only an elite segment ofhigh net worth individuals.

"With a bit of astute financial planning everyone can makethemselves better off and our research shows that people don't needa huge amount of extra money to feel really wealthy." will start by offering a comprehensive range offree interactive financial planning tools and impartial moneyguides, including:

  • A 60 second wealth check - visitors to the site can start herefor a quick check on the areas of their personal finances that mayneed attention
  • Wealth maximiser - a detailed financial planning service tohelp people work out what they may need to do to become betteroff
  • My wealth manager - an online income and expendituremanagement system and investment tracking service where users canupdate, monitor and manage their overall financial position andnet worth
  • Money news - up-to-the-minute money news from
  • Knowledge centre - containing a wealth of straightforward andimpartial information on personal finance topics, with a plainEnglish jargon-buster's free wealth management service can be foundat


Notes to editors

  • Norwich Union commissioned research house Netpoll to interview1,012 internet users in January 2001 on the subject of wealth andmoney. Research house Taylor Nelson Sofres also interviewed 1,000households in April 2001 on the subject of money
  • CGNU's news releases are available on the internet
  • The value of investments can go down as well as up
  • Norwich Union Wealth Management Limited, is regulated by thePersonal Investment Authority for investment business's 'Wired Wealth' study also showed:

  • Two thirds of Britons think that the current economic climatewill not have a negative impact on their own financialsituation
  • Three in five people are optimistic about their future andmoney
  • A quarter of people use the word 'hardworking' to describesomeone who's wealthy, compared to only 13 per cent who describethe wealthy as 'lucky'
  • Paying off the mortgage topped the poll (33 per cent) ofthings people would do if they had a windfall of £100,000,followed by investing for the future (32 per cent) and retiringearly (10 per cent)
  • 80 per cent of online Britons believe themselves to be 'betteroff than their parents' at the same age

For further media information, contact
Matthew Buchanan, Jo Carr or Gabrielle Brewer at QBO on
020 7379 0304

or Sue Winston at Norwich Union Press Office on
08703 66 68 66

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