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Barry Ritholtz

Investor Education Slips Into Reverse

Research suggests that teaching consumers about finance just doesn't work.
At least they learn, eventually.

At least they learn, eventually.

Photographer: Frank Scherschel/Life picture collection/getty images

Amid all the hoopla and theater of the national political convention you might have missed a noteworthy report about the financial literacy of the average American adult. It's worth taking a look during the weekend if you want a break from the presidential race, which seems like it begins again as soon as the election results are in.

There's not much in the National Financial Capability Study to suggest that people are getting smarter about their finances. “Only 37 percent of respondents are considered to have high financial literacy, meaning they could answer four or more questions on a five-question financial literacy quiz—down from 39 percent in 2012 and 42 percent in 2009,” according to the study.