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The MacroMonitor Methodology

Since 1978, Consumer Financial Decisions (CFD) at Strategic Business Insights (SBI) has steadfastly maintained a commitment to methodological excellence.

In 2010, CFD partnered with Knowledge Networks, whose KnowledgePanel online-survey solution is the only online panel that maintains a true probability sample that is projectable to the total US population. The transition from random phone samples and paper surveys to an online survey has been smooth and has yielded some pleasant surprises, such as significantly lower nonresponse incidences for many questions. In addition, utilizing our newfound ability to recontact our respondents on behalf of our subscribers to provide more granular insights about key topics adds value for our subscribers.

In keeping with past survey waves, the MacroMonitor has two sample components. One is a "general-population" component that targets a cross-section of all US households. The second component is an affluent oversample of more than 2,400 households—households with $100,000 or more in income or $500,000 or more in total assets exclusive of the value of the primary home. In combination, the survey sample is more than 4,000 households.

CFD asks respondents that the person or persons most responsible for financial decisions in the household take the online survey. We encourage both heads of the households to work on the survey together and to stop and restart the survey at their convenience. Online support is available to respondents who have questions about the survey. Once the surveys are complete, we review them on a case-by-case basis to flag various types of pattern response and nonresponse issues. We verify unusually high-numeric-amount responses for validity on the basis of other data provided by the household. We weight aggregate data—including age, income, family type, home ownership, type, tenure, and education—to national targets that derive from the US census. Weighting details