In New Research, Most Americans Fail to Consult Professionals for Financial Advice and Score Low on Financial Literacy Test

LAS VEGAS, Oct. 13, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — In a recent survey conducted by the National Financial Educators Council (NFEC), American adults were asked, "When you have a financial question, who do you personally turn to for trusted financial guidance?" The goal of the study was to learn whether people tend to take money advice from trusted professionals, or from some other source.

Following are some selected findings from the survey about where people obtain financial guidance.  There were 1,001 respondents from across the US gave their thoughts on this question, "When you have a financial question, who do you personally turn to for trusted financial guidance?"  Responses:

  • Parents, Family, Friends, or Coworkers – 40.8%
  • Financial Professionals – 33.4%
  • I Don’t Have Anyone Trusted to Turn To – 25.8%

View the complete results at: 

The CEO of the NFEC, Vince Shorb, expressed concern about these study results. "Clearly people who are not yet financially prepared to invest in real estate, equities, or insurance lack access to well-qualified professionals who could help them with those decisions," he stated. "Having access to solid guidance is essential at an early age, because the decisions people make while they’re young adults will significantly affect their futures as they mature."

Individuals who do turn to qualified professionals for guidance in making major financial decisions become better able to choose options that align with their personal finance goals, both in the short- and long-term. The lack of access to trusted advice indicated by these research findings is therefore concerning.

A second study tested people around the US on their level of advanced financial capability. A total of 10,508 individuals participated in the test, with an average correct score just slightly over 57%. Take the test at this link: 

Taken together, these two studies highlight the importance of making trusted, professional guidance available to people when they need money management advice. 

The NFEC conducts ongoing research on a variety of topics to evaluate current financial capabilities and awareness, decision-making, and situations among Americans and around the world. They apply the findings to develop state-of-the-art financial literacy curriculum, resources, and training to increase access to personalized financial advice for individuals with the greatest need. The organization also shares its research with the industry and with financial coaches and wellness professionals, who use the data to build financial skills among their client bases.

The National Financial Educators Council is a social enterprise organization that represents thought leadership in the financial education and wellness space. The NFEC conducts empirical research and holds think tanks to inform the financial literacy movement and uncover best practices to share with colleagues and partners. 

Media Contact:
Trevor Stoll

SOURCE National Financial Educators Council

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