Barclays Survey of High Net Worth Individuals Finds US Lags Behind Emerging
Markets on Positive Views of Adversity
-- 71% of high net worth US individuals agree that viewing failure positively
is essential for an economy to grow
-- 44% of US respondents say that the recent global financial crisis provided
them with opportunities
-- Respondents who identify themselves as entrepreneurs are more able to learn
from failure than non-entrepreneurs - 56% vs. 41%
NEW YORK, Nov. 12, 2012
NEW YORK, Nov.12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --While tolerance of failure is
reasonably high in the US, it is considerably greater in faster-growing
regions of the world, according to the latest report in the Barclays Wealth
Insights series, "If at First You Don't Succeed…Mapping Global Attitudes to
Adversity,"71% of US high net worth individuals (HNWIs) agree that viewing
failure positively is essential for an economy to grow, significantly fewer
than in the Middle East (91%) and Asia (80%). Overall, approximately three
quarters (74%) of global HNWIs agree that viewing failure positively is
essential for an economy to grow.
The Barclays report, which explores how different cultures value traits such
as persistence and optimism, and how entrepreneurs view setbacks as a stepping
stone to future success, found the US also trails the Middle East and Asia on
other notable cultural attitudes toward failure. Only 37% of US respondents
agree that past failure in entrepreneurial endeavors increases the chance that
a new business will succeed, compared with 81% of HNWIs in the Middle East and
67% in Asia. Approximately half (49%) of US HNWIs believe that if you work
hard enough, anyone can learn to become a successful entrepreneur, while 83%
of respondents in the Middle East report the same belief.
Global HNWIs also report different experiences with the recent global
financial crisis: 44% of US respondents say it provided them with
opportunities compared with 53% of Asian respondents. Additionally,
respondents in the Middle East and Asia are more persistent in the face of
failure with 55% and 53% respectively agreeing that if an entrepreneur's
business is failing, the entrepreneur should persist instead of cutting
losses, while only 41% of US respondents said the same.
"The US and Europe may have historically dominated entrepreneurship, but the
survey findings suggest that the global landscape has shifted. Today, dynamic
and fast-growing economies are catching up," says Steve Alper, Managing
Director, Head of Market Development, Barclays Wealth and Investment
Management, Americas. "A culture that tolerates risk and experimentation is
crucial to supporting entrepreneurship. As governments across the globe look
to grow their economies, understanding the psychology of failure and embracing
the ability to learn from setbacks are important factors in creating a vibrant
entrepreneurial culture and increasing the chances of a sustainable economic
Rebounding from Setbacks: Entrepreneurs v. Non-entrepreneurs
Beyond cultural views of failure, the report reveals a contrast in the way
entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs think about risk, opportunity and failure.
Respondents who classify themselves as entrepreneurs find recovery from
setbacks easier than those who say they are non-entrepreneurs. Among the
entrepreneurs, 34% say that failure encouraged them to try again and 29%
report being able to bounce back quickly, compared with 19% and 17% of
Entrepreneurs are also more likely to see opportunity where others see
adversity, with 55% agreeing that the global financial crisis has provided
opportunities, while only 42% of non-entrepreneurs agree. Persistence is more
prevalent among entrepreneurs as well. Sixty-seven percent of entrepreneurs
say that they find it difficult to stop trying to achieve a goal if they have
to stop pursuing it compared to 59% of non-entrepreneurs.
Perhaps most significantly, respondents who identify themselves as
entrepreneurs are more able to learn from failure than non-entrepreneurs – 56%
vs. 41%. They are also more likely to say that failure helped to strengthen
their character (39% vs. 21%).
Framing failure as a learning opportunity has implications beyond
entrepreneurial ventures and business investments, as the report reveals. The
Barclays survey found that people who are persistent, optimistic or both, are
less likely to have experienced failure in their personal investments than
those who do not possess these traits. It also found that investors who have
either experienced severe investment failure or no investment failure at all
see the value of diversification.
"Optimism and persistence are valuable traits for financial investors, making
them more likely to stay the course and respond wisely to short-term portfolio
fluctuations," notes Greg Davies, Managing Director, Head of Behavioral
Finance at Barclays. "As with entrepreneurial ventures, losses are only
setbacks if you react to them as failures. The lesson for all investors is to
maintain a long-term investing mindset, learn from mistakes and know when to
cede control and let diversification work for you."
US Regional Differences
Notable differences in attitudes toward failure emerged between regions in the
oOnly 29% of respondents in the West think past failure increases the
chance of future success, the lowest percentage across regions.
oThe Northeast sees the most opportunity in tough times, with 48% reporting
that the recent global financial crisis has provided them with
oThe Midwest is the most optimistic region, with 49% of respondents
agreeing that they have learned a great deal from business failures and
77% saying that viewing failure positively is essential for an economy to
About Barclays Wealth Insights & Survey Methodology
If at First You Don't Succeed… Mapping Global Attitudes to Adversity, the
latest report in the Barclays Wealth Insights series, provides an in-depth
study into the different ways in which individuals around the world view and
respond to setbacks. The report explores how different cultures value traits
such as persistence and optimism, the role of luck and how entrepreneurs view
setbacks as a stepping stone to future success.
Ledbury Research conducted a survey in partnership with the Barclays
Behavioral Finance team of more than 2,000 high net worth individuals, all of
whom had over USD$1.5 million/GBP£1 million (or equivalent) in total net worth
and 200 with more than USD$15 million/GBP£10 million. Respondents were drawn
from 17 countries around the world, across Europe, North America, South
America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific. More than 750 of the
respondents identified themselves as entrepreneurs. The interviews took place
during the first half of 2012. In the statistical analysis, also by the
Barclays Behavioral Finance team, individual countries with less than 50
respondents have only been included in the regional findings.
To read If at First You Don't Succeed… Mapping Global Attitudes to Adversity,
please click here or visit www.barclays.com/wealth/americas
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