Americans Acknowledge Importance of Financial Knowledge, Yet Only One in Five Learn Money Skills in School, Edward Jones Study Finds
News release | Aug. 2, 2023
During back-to-school season, Edward Jones increases financial education for students
ST. LOUIS – August 2, 2023 – According to a new study from financial services firm Edward Jones with Morning Consult, only 20% of respondents reported learning about financial education in school. The survey also revealed that more than a quarter of respondents (28%) say they lack confidence in their financial knowledge as adults.
“Developing greater financial knowledge and confidence has to start earlier in school," said Vanessa Okwuraiwe, Principal at Edward Jones. “Our data demonstrates that knowledge builds confidence – for example, roughly 60% of respondents believe they would be more confident in their financial situation with a better understanding of debt management – so it’s our goal to empower individuals to secure their financial futures.”
The survey found that there is an opportunity for earlier and more extensive education around personal finance. Nearly half of respondents (44%) were 25 years or older when they gained the majority of their education on the topic. Meanwhile, 18% never received an education on finances at any age.
Thirty-three states are trying to change that by requiring or recommending education for high school students on personal finance topics prior to graduation. Respondents from the survey indicated an interest in improving their knowledge on investing in the markets (28%), debt management (28%) and preparing for retirement (27%). They also noted knowledge gaps on important financial topics including financial caregiving (54%), managing student debt (47%), understanding certificates of deposit (41%) and investing in the capital markets (40%).
Building Confidence Early Through Financial Fitness
The Edward Jones Financial Fitness program, with EVERFI, provides high school students and adults of all ages with the tools to build their financial knowledge and confidence through a digital education platform. Since 2020, the Edward Jones Financial Fitness program has educated more than 500,000 learners – marking the halfway point toward the firm’s goal to reach 1 million learners by the end of 2025. During the 2022-2023 U.S. school year alone:
- The Edward Jones Financial Fitness program reached more than 90,000 students in over 2,000 schools, 51% of which are high need.
- Students who completed the program achieved an average knowledge gain of 42%, and with that came greater confidence in their financial futures.
- 86% of students said that after taking the course they are likely to invest in the stock market.
Combatting Financial Back-to-School Jitters
Back-to school season can bring anxieties and pressures around finances for many families, with nearly one-third of respondents in the survey (31%) reporting feeling concerned or stressed in conjunction with their current financial standing. Most respondents also indicated that they did not have a definitive source to turn to for financial advice to ease this stress. In fact, while the majority of adults do seek advice from somewhere, the top sources are friends or family (21%) and themselves (20%), rather than financial advisors (15%).
“The back-to-school season can be associated with nerves and anxieties for a number of reasons, but lack of financial education does not have to be one of them,” added Okwuraiwe. “A new school year can be an empowering opportunity to learn new skills and take more control of your finances. We encourage everyone to access our free financial education tools and resources on our website."
To access the Edward Jones Financial Fitness modules, visit www.edwardjones.com/financialfitness.
The survey was conducted by global data intelligence company Morning Consult among a national sample of 2,202 18+ adults from July 10-12, 2023. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of +/-2 percentage points.
About Edward Jones
Edward Jones is a leading financial services firm in the U.S. and through its affiliate in Canada. The firm's nearly 19,000 financial advisors serve more than 8 million clients with a total of $1.7 trillion in client assets under care as of March 2023. Edward Jones' purpose is to partner for positive impact to improve the lives of its clients and colleagues, and together, better our communities and society. Through the dedication of the firm's approximately 52,000 associates and our branch presence in 68% of U.S. counties, the firm is committed to helping more people achieve financially what is most important to them. The Edward Jones website is at www.edwardjones.com, and its recruiting website is www.careers.edwardjones.com. Member SIPC.