Can You Ace This Quiz? Test Your Financial Literacy

Findings from the National Financial Capability Study (NFCS), released this month by the FINRA Investor Education Foundation (FINRA Foundation), reveal that many Americans demonstrate relatively low levels of financial literacy and have difficulty applying financial decision-making skills to real-life situations. 

Young woman thinking about dollar bills flying

Take the NFCS
Financial Literacy Quiz
now and see how
you fare.

To evaluate financial knowledge, NFCS study respondents were asked a series of questions covering fundamental concepts of economics and finance that may be encountered in everyday life, such as calculations involving interest rates and inflation and principles relating to risk and diversification.

The NFCS data show that in the U.S., 61 percent of respondents were unable to answer more than three of the five questions correctly. Further, only 37 percent of respondents were considered to have high financial literacy, meaning they could answer four or more questions correctly on the five-question financial literacy quiz—down from 39 percent in 2012 and 42 percent in 2009. 

Take the NFCS Financial Literacy Quiz now and see how you fare.

The NFCS findings show that all too often, a gap exists between self-reported knowledge and real-world behavior. Despite relatively low levels of financial literacy as measured by the financial literacy quiz, many Americans tend to have positively biased self-perceptions of their financial knowledge. When asked to assess their own financial knowledge, over three-quarters of respondents (76 percent) gave themselves high marks. So, in contrast to the decline in financial literacy quiz performance from previous years, self-perceptions of financial knowledge have become more positive relative to the 67 percent in 2009 and 73 percent in 2012 who rated themselves highly. 

While financial capability encompasses a combination of knowledge, resources, access and habits, financial literacy is found to be strongly correlated with behavior that is indicative of financial capability. Specifically, those with higher financial literacy are more likely to plan for retirement and to have an emergency fund, and less likely to engage in expensive credit card behaviors. 

The survey's full data set, methodology and related questionnaire are available at USFinancialCapability.org.

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