SAVINGS & INVESTMENT
Savings and investments by individuals are important both for personal financial well-being and for economic growth. Many governments try to encourage their citizens to save more, or to save more appropriately, by preferring formal institutions to informal saving and by promoting more diversification. However, there are considerable barriers to saving, including limited access to financial markets by some groups, complexity of financial products and information asymmetries. Knowledge and understanding of saving and investment concepts is particularly low in many countries. In addition, there are behavioral and cultural factors which may limit people’s propensity to save. As a consequence, policy makers have developed several strategies to influence whether and how individuals save. Policy responses typically involve a combination of prudential regulation and consumer protection legislation, financial incentives, financial education and awareness initiatives, as well as behavioral techniques to encourage people into sound saving decisions.