Thursday, April 10, 2008

Financial Literacy...if you don't get it at home, who will teach you?

The Washington Post reports: High School Seniors Get 'F' in Finance

"Young people's financial know-how has gone from bad to worse.
High school seniors, on average, answered correctly only 48.3 percent of questions about personal finance and economics, according to a nationwide survey released Wednesday by the Federal Reserve. That was even lower than the 52.4 percent in the previous survey in 2006 and marked the worst score out of the six surveys conducted so far.
With home foreclosures at record highs, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke stressed in a speech that young people must sharpen their financial knowledge so they are in a better position to make sound investment decisions throughout their lives. "

If you don't get sound financial values/education at home, where will you learn the skills to manage your own finances when the time comes? I can't understand why personal finances are not taught more in schools starting with elementary-age children. Sometimes waiting until high school or college is too late for teens and young adults. Think about it, teens are bombarded by innovative advertising and marketing (geared specifially toward people in that age group) encouraging them to spend money (they probably don't have). By high school or college, poor judgement in financial decisions (credit card debt!) could lead to mistakes that take teens and young adults years to fix. Let's hope the next time the Federal Reserve does this survey, the results are not so dismal...