A firm grasp of financial literacy doesn't always translate into making smarter money moves.
U.S. adults are split, 50-50, in their ability to correctly answer questions about financial decision-making and money management, according to a new joint report from the TIAA Institute and the Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center at George Washington University School of Business. The groups polled 1,043 adults in September 2016, asking 28 questions in subjects where respondents routinely make financial decisions, such as borrowing, saving and earning.
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On average, survey respondents got 49 percent of the questions correct. Just 16 percent could answer at least 22 of the questions correctly (putting them in the top-scoring bucket), while 20 percent of people got seven or fewer questions right. (See chart below for subject areas where consumers knew the most, and least.)
"Higher scores often correlated with smarter behaviors," said report co-author Paul Yakoboski, senior economist at the TIAA Institute.
"Those individuals are less likely to report being financially fragile," he said.