Ruhr Economic Papers

Ruhr Economic Papers #670

Financial Consulting: A Qualitative Study on Its Role in Financial Decision Making

by Julia Sprenger

RUB, 01/2017, 30 S./p., 8 Euro, ISBN 978-3-86788-777-9 DOI: 10.4419/86788777



The current study examines the way people deal with financial decisions. The purpose of this study is to explore the role of financial consulting in the decision making process and the complex decision dynamics in the run up to a decision. Data for this study were collected through a series of semi-structured interviews with both financial consultants of a savings bank and their clients. The findings provide insights into different attitudes towards financial decision making, locate financial consulting within the decision process, and compare the information habits and the degree to which decision autonomy is maintained, restricted, or given up across different types of clients. Besides, the study shows how trust between client and consultant encourages reciprocal behavior and increases the willingness to accept opportunity costs. The paper discusses these findings with respect to consulting practices and consumer policy and outlines directions for future research.

JEL-Classification: D14, D18, D83, G21

Keywords: Financial decision making; financial consulting; interviews; decision autonomy; information