The Genetics of Saving

For all of you that find saving money for future goals a challenge – don’t worry – its genetics!  At least that’s what a recent study seems to suggest.  Stephan Siegal, assistant professor at the University of Washington, Foster School of Business in Seattle, concludes that based on his research that “genetics is the single greatest determinate of an individual’s propensity to either save or spend.”   Professor Siegal’s research and conclusions are sure to draw interest from the many individuals and advisors that just might think his explanation is a bit too simplistic.                                                 

In working with individuals who have accumulated the necessary wealth to meet their goals, such as financing a college education or funding a successful retirement, I have found that saving money is more than just dollars and cents.  Becoming a good saver (and meeting future financial goals) requires discipline, perseverance and sound strategies such as systematic savings plans like 401k’s, 403bs, and other automatic investment plans.

So, the next time you buy the 52” HDTV instead of fully funding your 401k blame your genetic makeup!  And then make sure you schedule your annual meeting with your financial planner to make sure your on track to meet your short and long-term financial goals.


Any information is not a complete summary or statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision and does not constitute a recommendation. Any opinions are those of Center for Financial Planning, Inc., and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James.