FINRA released survey results detailing the financial habits of American adults, according to their news release “FINRA Foundation Releases Inaugural Financial Capability Survey.” The FINRA Investor Education Foundation was researching the ways that Americans spend, save, borrow, and plan out their future finances. This National Financial Capability Survey was completed by FINRA, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy. The leaders of all three institutions met at the U.S. Treasury with some high school students to discuss the results.
With an unknown financial future as a reality for many Americans, results showed that many need more education to compare annuities with other financial products and solutions to retirement. More than half of Americans do not have money saved for their children’s education. Over twenty percent use methods like payday loan centers and pawn shops regularly for borrowing money. Most Americans don’t have an emergency fund for financial emergencies. Only forty-six percent of those surveyed were able to correctly answer two basic questions about inflation and interest rates. FINRA believes that more financial education is a necessity for Americans.
The FINRA Foundation is funding thirty-one new grants to provide financial education throughout communities that is unbiased and that works. A partnership with United Way Worldwide will seek out low- and middle-income Americans that need this education to be on successful financial paths. FINRA is also expanding the Smart investing@ your library program. Through a partnership with the American Library Association, this program reaches twenty-three million Americans throughout twenty-six states. These financial education programs are important to FINRA and the U.S. government so that financial mistakes from the past are not repeated in the future.