The level of Russians’ financial literacy has visibly increased over the past two years. People are giving more attention to saving and increasing personal income. The number of readers of books on personal finance almost doubled, according to a joint study conducted by Rosgosstrakh Life insurance company and Eksmo publishers to mark Business Book Day observed in Russia on September 28.
The vast majority of respondents (85%) are predominantly consuming information on how to keep track of their expenses and income, to effectively save money and invest, on the internet and social media. A third (31%) talk to their friends and relatives. One in five (22%) seeks information in the relevant literature, and 16%, in the industry media.
If we compare these results with a similar survey conducted by Rosgosstrakh Life two years ago, we can see that the demand for financial literature has grown in recent years. At present, personal finance books are bought and read by one in every five Russians (22%), while two years ago, only one in eight Russians read them (12%). Another 27% of survey participants intend to start reading up on this subject in the near future.
According to Eksmo, books on personal finance are the fifth best-selling category among nine subgenres of business literature, including business and commerce, management and business management tools, HR management (training, motivation, etc.), marketing, advertising and PR.
The most popular books on personal finance include Edwin Lefevre’s Reminiscences of a Stock Operator, Valentin Vitkovsky’s Trading for Beginners: Stable Income on Stock Markets, Gregory Zuckerman’s The Man Who Solved the Market: How Jim Simons Launched the Quant Revolution; Wealth Can’t Wait: Avoid the 7 Wealth Traps, Implement the 7 Business Pillars, and Complete a Life Audit Today! by David Osborn and Paul Morris and Vladimir Savenok’s Time to Invest: A Guide to Successful Capital Management.
Respondents were also prompted to evaluate their own skills of personal and family budgeting, income and expense management, financial planning, investing and savings accumulation.
More than 58% stated they consider themselves financially literate and have basic money management skills while lacking knowledge on some aspects. One in every four people (27%) admitted that they significantly lack knowledge about most financial issues. Only 15% of Russians said they had no gaps in knowledge whatsoever.
It should be noted that recently, Russians have increased their level of financial literacy. Two years ago, when the Rosgosstrakh Life insurance company conducted a similar poll, only 44% had basic financial skills with some gaps while 34% respondents had a substantial deficit of knowledge.
“Based on our research, Russians’ financial literacy is on the rise, meaning they have more knowledge and skills in finance which helps them adequately evaluate the situation on the market and make reasonable decisions to achieve their life goals and improve the quality of life. We all are participants of the financial market, taxpayers, investors and borrowers. Improving financial literacy is a must for each person and it can be done by using external sources of information (media, social media, specialized training) and internal sources (family, self-development). Books are great helpers as they help build useful habits and learn how to manage personal finances in a smart way, plan the budget, save money, etc. So it is important to include business literature in one’s reading list,” says Natalya Belova, Director of Market Management and Board Member of Rosgosstrakh Life.
“Russian readers today are clearly interested in business literature by Russian authors who are well familiar with the reality of Russia and have experience in operating in these conditions. Eksmo is a long-term and successful promoter of this segment and we will continue to develop it with our partners. I believe that there will be new bestsellers on finance management and the issues essential to our readers, along with effective tools and opportunities,” Eksmo CEO Yevgeny Kapyev emphasized.