Before reading any further, we think it would be well worth your time to do the following: 1) Watch the brief segment below from the Council for Economic Education titled "Spotlight On: Financial Literacy" which is currently airing on PBS, and 2) Take this short financial literacy quiz from FINRA.
The PBS segment highlights some absolutely alarming statistics. Only 14 states currently require high school students to take a course in personal finance. Of those 14 states, only 20% of teachers report that they're even competent enough to teach those courses. A third of parents say that they're more comfortable talking with their children about drugs, than about money! Regarding the FINRA quiz, believe it or not, only 14% of Americans were able to correctly answer all five of these basic financial concept questions correctly!
On our most recent radio broadcast, Mike English, President & CEO of the Missouri Council on Economic Education, joined us in studio to discuss this issue of financial literacy and offer some thoughts on what can be done to help fix the problem. In addition, we explained how a lack of personal financial literacy can cost you big-time when it comes to your investments. A recent US News & World Report article titled "15 Ways Our Financial Decisions Cost Us" laid out powerful research on how low levels of financial literacy can lead investors to pay higher investment fees & expenses, lose a substantial amount of investment income, and ultimately cost them a meaningful chunk of their wealth. The article found that financial literacy can explain more than half the wealth inequality observed in US data.
In our weekly market update, we spent a few minutes discussing how to think about approaching risk management in your investment portfolio and in our ETF Spotlight segment, we examined an ETF that can offer protection in a rising interest rate environment (PowerShares Senior Loan Portfolio ETF - ticker BKLN). Learn more about BKLN by visiting www.etfbuzz.com.