Are You Smarter Than A 20-Something American?
There is a study from San Diego State University that found a gap in financial knowledge and behaviour in young people. The study asked the following 3 questions.
See if you know the answer.
Do you think that the following statement is true or false? Buying a single company stock usually provides a safer return than a mutual fund.
Suppose you had $100 in a savings account and the interest rate was 2% per year. After 5 years, how much do you think you would have in the account if you left the money to grow: More than $102, exactly $102, or less than $102?
Imagine that the interest rate on your savings account was 1% per year and inflation was 2% per year. After 1 year, would you be able to buy more than, exactly the same as, or less than today with the money in this account?
Check your answers at the bottom of this story.
Only a quarter of respondents got all 3 questions right. More troubling was that the research showed how respondents have actually been managing their money.
The average young person surveyed showed responsible behavior in only one of three categories: Paying off debts on time, budgeting and living within one’s means, and having any retirement savings at all. Only 2% of all respondents showed responsible behavior in all three categories.
Furthermore, this study found that there was little to no effect of financial knowledge on financial behavior. That is, young people manage money poorly, even when they know better.
If you want to improve your own financial behavior, the best thing you can do is be open to the influences of others.
Family and financial professionals could play an important role in improving young people’s financial habits.
Some of the greatest success stories I have been a part of is where the positive financial habits have been passed down to the next generation. Parents have included their children in the discussions surrounding finances, saving and investing early and living within one’s means.
I truly believe whatever you achieve (or don’t) is significantly affected by everyone you associate with on a regular basis. Just as it takes a village to raise a child, I’m convinced that it takes a community of support to raise your savings and income.
You become who you’re with.
So…… Thank you for being a part of our community. Astra distinguishes itself with our goal of educating and sharing positive financial habits and financial empowerment.
And the answers to the questions above? They are: (1) false; (2) more than $102; and (3) less than today.