Zopa has discovered that our animal instincts come into play when making financial decisions and that we are predominantly conservative in our outlook – identifying most with squirrels and bongo antelopes. Partnering with Professor Erica Fudge, from the School of Humanities, University of Strathclyde, Zopa, the pioneering financial services company, links our very human financial decision-making and the behaviours of some animals in the natural world.
Backed up by existing investor data which found that 17% of Zopa investors regularly invest small amounts throughout the year – just like a squirrel – Zopa has created a brand new quiz that allows users to find out their Zopa Spirit Animal, and provide some insight into their relationship with money.
The main financial personalities include traits such as saving a lot of money, doing whatever it takes to avoid risk, saving for a little while then spending compulsively, and even carrying around some guilt which comes from the possession of a certain amount of money.
Ahead of the quiz being released, Zopa took a temperature check of the UK to find out the nation’s relationship with money, and discovered a prevalent trend for caution, with many saving a little amount regularly (30%), or constantly keeping watch on their finances (30%) – qualities that were linked to squirrels and the bongo antelope, respectively.
Making up the remainder of the top 5 traits that Brits aligned themselves to were doing everything you can to increase your wealth (much like a ferret, with 10% of the vote), preferring security and comfort over anything risky (characterised as a dog, at 9%) and treating yourself from time to time (behaviour linked to a lion, with 8% of the vote).
SQUIRREL – Hedonism is alien to you and you would rather make savings than spend money
DOG – You choose security in your financial affairs above all else
CHIMP – You feel bad when in possession of a lot of money as such situations bring about a certain sense of guilt in you
LION – You are prone to save for a while but are also susceptible to spend compulsively when affected by an external stimulus
FERRET – You regard money as a source of power, and therefore your ultimate goal is to continually increase your wealth
BONGO (ANTELOPE) – You consider that monitoring your finances is a source of control, therefore you tend to spend a lot of time keeping track of your financial situation
KANGAROO – You perceive money as a source of adventure and freedom and enjoy taking risks with your money
OSTRICH – You don’t like managing your finances and try to avoid daily tasks about money
CASSOWARY – You have never thought about a budget or had any luck with significant savings. You take pleasure in spending your money
Clare Gambardella, Zopa’s Chief Customer Officer, says: “We’re all a bit different when it comes to managing our money – and we now know that our animal instincts can have a direct impact on our financial decision making. At Zopa, we want to help people feel good about their money, and provide them with products and services that work best for them. Hopefully this quiz will allow them to tame or nurture the financial animal within.”
Professor Erica Fudge says “We are surrounded by anthropomorphised animals who help us understand more about our own, human culture. Take George Orwell’s Animal Farm as an allegory of communism, or the recent film Paddington as a comment on cultural difference, for example. From such works, it is easy to see the appeal of assigning human traits to those found in the animal kingdom – by using animals we are able to speak about human lives, worlds and ideas in a way that reveals something new about them.”
Zopa helps people get more out of their money through its award winning loans and investment products – including the Innovative Finance ISA. It hopes to achieve another set of exciting milestones over the coming year as it launches a bank to give people a better experience with their finances by providing simple, fair products that are easy to manage, and using its tech know-how to provide a bank that’s fit for the future.