Irrational Consumer Behavior in Financial Services

Abstract
Consumer driven and globally competitive financial markets are crucial for the future prosperity of the Finnish society (Laitamäki, Lehti and Paasio 1996). The largest transfer of wealth in history is currently taking place as Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) prepare for their retirement and inherit the assets of the previous generation. Due to cognitive limitations and emotional biases these consumers don’t always make rational decisions with financial services. This conceptual study addresses irrational financial consumer behavior and its impact on the Finnish business and society. The study focuses on two research questions: 1) What type of behavioral finance concepts explain irrational consumer behavior? 2) What are the implications of these behaviors for the Finnish business and society? The purpose of this study is to assist individual consumers, business leaders and policy makers in making better financial services related decisions in Finland. The need for better decisions has been illustrated during Finnish and international financial crises including the US sub-prime loan turmoil in 2008
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