When you're young, it's easy to think you have it all figured out.
And, in fact, millennials consider themselves far more financially savvy than they actually are, at least according to a recent survey by the National Endowment for Financial Education and George Washington University.
Only 8 percent of those polled had a high level of knowledge, while about a quarter, or 24 percent, demonstrated just a basic understanding of how to manage their money. Yet 69 percent gave themselves high marks for financial know-how. The research was based on data from the 2012 National Financial Capability Study commissioned by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority's Investor Education Foundation, which asked more than 5,500 young people from ages 23 to 35 basic financial literacy questions.
"This generation is diverse and highly educated. However, their overconfidence puts them in an extremely fragile financial position, and sadly, they don't realize it," Ted Beck, the endowment's president and CEO, said in a statement.
"What young adults don't know about money can hurt them."
For example, only 40 percent of millennials got the following question correct:
Please tell me whether this statement is true or false. "Buying a single company's stock usually provides a safer return than a stock mutual fund."
Do not know
Refuse to answer
Millennials are a generation plagued with record student debt, which has monumental consequences. From buying a car or a home to getting married and even having children, many millennials are putting off life's major milestones because of their outstanding loans, studies have shown.
Two-thirds have at least one source of long-term debt, including a student loan, home mortgage or car loan, and 30 percent have more than one type of outstanding long-term debt. The majority, or 53 percent, said they have too much debt, according to the endowment.