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Decision Lab Financial Trends Report 2023
Laurence Newman

Cautious consumers hope to ride out financial turbulence

Vietnamese consumers are becoming more cautious in the face of financial headwinds, according to new data from boutique market research consultants Decision Lab. 

With the global cost-of-living crisis hitting domestic house prices, exports, and orders, Vietnamese consumers are now feeling less secure about their financial futures and so are making more careful saving, spending, and investment choices as a result.

Decision Lab interviewed over a thousand adults in Vietnam throughout April, asking them about their current financial priorities, choices, and motivations, as well as their expectations for their financial future.

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Download the full report from the Decision Lab website.

When asked about their current financial priorities, half (50%) of the respondents said that saving for unexpected hardship was their biggest concern. That is an increase of almost 10% compared to 2022 and 3% higher than 2021, when Vietnam was in the midst of the COVID pandemic. 

Meanwhile, ensuring that their families are protected from emergencies came a close second (48%), up from just one-third (33%) of people 12 months earlier.

Consumers are turning to investment products to protect their families’ financial future

With the job market becoming more precarious, it is unsurprising that more people are turning to investment products to protect their families. In 2023, 41% of people hope to safeguard their financial future through investing, a 10% increase in 2022.

However, even though investing is becoming more popular, consumers are more cautious regarding their risk appetite. The number of people willing to take a ‘high’ to ‘extreme’ risk to achieve significant capital growth has halved from 18% to just 9% in 12 months. 

Meanwhile, just under one-fifth (19%) of people prefer to take no risk, around a third (32%) are low-risk investors, and just over one-fifth (23%) are willing to take a moderate risk when investing their capital.

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For this reason, safe-haven investments have soared over the last 12 months. The number of people with a savings account, for instance, has almost doubled from 37% in 2022 to 62% in 2023. Meanwhile, the proportion of the population investing in securities has risen from around one-fifth (21%) to one-third (33%) over the last 12 months.

Looking ahead, consumers expect to remain cautious with their personal finances, with around half of those invested in savings, gold, and securities planning to invest more in the next 12 months. However, digital currencies buck this trend. Despite being one of the most volatile asset classes, just over half (52%) of Vietnamese who own crypto plan to invest more in assets like Bitcoin.

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Download the full report from the Decision Lab website.

Thue Quist Thomasen, Decision Lab CEO Commenting on the data Thue Quist Thomasen, CEO of Decision Lab, said:

“In uncertain times, consumers want financial products that can help them to ride out rising food costs, falling house prices, and unpredictable job prospects. People want to protect themselves and their families from financial hardship, with low-risk investment products providing an attractive hedge against an uncertain future.

“Therefore, banks and financial institutions looking to attract customers need to respond to this trend. That means providing savings and investment products offering trustworthiness, transparency, and security while also showcasing these values through their marketing messages and brand campaigns. 

“Decision Lab has market-leading tools to help companies track consumer trends in real-time, arming them with in-depth insights into customer attitudes and enabling them to design responsive campaigns that align with changing customer values and behaviours.”