Selected Topics in Financial Literacy
Journal of Wealth Management, Vol.17, No. 3, pp. 47-57, Winter 2014
Posted: 20 May 2019
Date Written: October 28, 2014
Financial literacy has become a major area of research in recent years, both in the investment and retirement literature with respect to the increasing complexity of financial products and need to save for retirement. Studies generally find individuals are financially uninformed and lacking in basic financial principles. This study discusses in depth research with detailed analyses of financial literacy, financial education, individual investment outcomes, genetic investment biases, and related issues.
A vast literature concerning investor financial literacy and education exists. The SEC’s  study mandated under the Dodd-Frank Act provides a recent overall review and highlights existing levels of retail investor financial literacy and preferences for formats and timing of intermediary disclosures prior to making investment decisions, and more.
Lusardi and Mitchell  assess research on financial literacy. Topics include theoretical research that casts financial literacy as an investment in human capital, how much financial knowledge individuals and groups have, the impact of financial literacy on financial decision-making, and what yet remains to be learned.
Fernandes, Lynch, and Netemeyer  review research on financial literacy, financial education, and consumer financial outcomes. Meta-analysis is performed on financial literacy and financial education relationships in 201 non-redundant studies. Interventions to improve financial literacy explain only 0.10% of variance in financial behaviors.
Glaser and Walther  combine psychology research with empirical findings on the usefulness of financial literacy for investment decisions. The personal behavior of individuals with high levels of financial literacy may depend on the prevalence of two styles of thinking in dual-process theories: intuition and cognition.
Collins  finds the lack of financial literacy can reduce ability of individuals to make informed financial decisions. But, financial advice has the potential to substitute for lack of ability in financial decision-making. However, advice more often complements financial capability for individuals with higher levels of income, education, and financial literacy.
Keywords: financial literacy, financial education, retirement, retail investors, financial knowledge, financial outcomes, human capital, psychology research, investment decisions, intuition, cognition, informed financial decisions, income, education
JEL Classification: G02, G23, G28
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation