Exploring how and why we make financial choices

The Think Forward Initiative is an open source initiative by ING, CEPR (Centre for Economic Policy Research), Dell EMC, Microsoft, Dimension Data and Deloitte. Its goal is to gain a deeper understanding of financial decision making and to empower people to make financial decisions that are better for them, and ultimately better for society. The Think Forward Initiative brings together a range of academics and researchers to find out how and why people makes financial choices. The lessons learned will be a springboard for action to help consumers.

Managing personal finances has always been tough. Emotions that people have, and the social situations that they are in, often hinder smart financial decisions. We would like to see ourselves as sensible and logical decision-makers. If only that were true. Study after study shows that our decisions are driven by many other (often subconscious) factors. That’s something to take into consideration, because big financial decisions can have a large and lasting impact on our lives.

Why exactly do we make bad financial decisions? Is it because it’s too hard to imagine and consider our future needs over our current needs? Does the abundance of choice help us or hinder us? The Think Forward Initiative examines these ques- tions and more. When it comes to making financial choices, it’s obviously important to understand what you’re choosing, but it’s equally vital to know why you’re choosing it. What are the deeper reasons behind our financial behavior and choices?

This open-source initiative is a platform for conducting and showcasing research, share knowledge, and co-create with academics, policymakers, consumer organisations and leaders from the financial and technology sectors. But also to have access to the latest developments and best practices in the area of financial decision making, fintech innovations and financial literacy.