I am sorry to acknowledge that I trust young North Americans more than Spaniards when it comes to facing and overcoming the economic crisis we are facing due to the coronavirus, because their level of financial training, much higher than that of our compatriots, it will be decisive to face with better perspectives the challenges that await them globally. Our children, because this crisis is going to last for several years, will have serious difficulties to get ahead if they continue like this.
No one is surprised to see in Hollywood movies how US students have to combine their studies with jobs in hamburgers, bars and gas station stores in order to pay their daily expenses. That is part of the American culture, something really far from the reality that we live in Spain. Are there so many differences from the United States? Clearly, yes. There they have learned from children lessons on saving and investing that they know how to apply as soon as they can reason. They know that in order to consume have learn to organize their finances, because their parents and teachers at school and university have educated them for that since they were little.
One of the goals I set for myself when I launched the first Spanish Robo Advisor, six years ago, was to bring the world of investment funds closer to all Spaniards from training, especially to young digital natives. I have to admit that I thought the road would be easier. These generations, whose lives revolve around online applications that allow them to buy clothes, socialize, order food at home, listen to music or learn, are not using technology as expected to improve their financial knowledge, or to invest, or to save.
In the US, 10% of investors use robotic applications to help them manage their finances. The possibility of personalizing their investments, autonomy from financial institutions, transparency in the information they receive and cost savings mean that more young people use these tools every year. In Spain, however, just over 60,000 people, with an age group between 35 and 55 years, are users of these platforms. Of the youngest, very little trace yet.
I think it is necessary to make this reflection so that those who are gradually joining the labor market are able to take control of their money and can choose the future they want for themselves. If the current financial illiteracy continues, a large part of the population will have their future mortgaged and will be unable to make decisions. Then those decisions will be made for them by the financial institutions.