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What Americans Buy, Believe and Do.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Dear Research Alert Subscriber:

Recent Grads Give Themselves a 'C minus' in Personal Finance

Despite unprecedented access to financial literacy materials online and a plethora of budgeting and money apps, more than half of today's high school and college graduates barely pass personal finance, according to a study for Ally Bank. The study shows that 53% of 18- to 24-year-olds rate their knowledge of personal finance a C or lower.

The report uncovers a variety of topics, including financial habits and behaviors, and how consumers grade themselves on their knowledge of personal finance. The results show adults 18-24 rate their knowledge of personal finance much lower than adults in general, and only 1 in 10 give themselves an A.

"The ability to understand and manage your finances is often considered one of the keys in achieving a more secure life, however this survey illustrates that for some, they are still not comfortable navigating their own financial waters," said Diane Morais, president of Consumer and Commercial Banking Products for Ally Bank. "The good news is banks like Ally are here to help boost people's financial GPA with competitive products that make their money work harder. In addition, our online and mobile tools are simple to use and ideal to help them better manage their finances."

Friends, Family Source for Knowledge, Not Schools

Even with a bevy of ratings, reviews, and articles detailing a variety of personal financial tips, those 18-24 are twice as likely as older adults to learn from friends or family when it comes to personal finance. In fact, 18- to 24-year-olds are twice as likely to ask friends than use an online resource to learn more about personal finance.

But learning in an academic setting is trending up.

The study indicates that more recent high school graduates are three-times more likely to learn about personal finance during high school than older adults (23% to 7%). This may be driven by the fact that However, more than half (54%) say they would like to learn how to manage their finances better. To help fill that need for more formal financial education, Ally developed Wallet Wise courses that provide tools and information to help people young and old reach their financial goals.

Turn Back Time

Ally also asked those who have celebrated their 10-year college reunion what advice they would give their college self. Avoiding student loans was high on the list of many of the respondents, as was understanding how best to use credit cards.

Other tips alums offered included:

* Set and stick to a budget

* Pay extra on debts like car loans or mortgages

* Save early as compounding interest pays off in the long run

SOURCE: Ally, 500 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48226

Americans Say U.S. Moral Values Not Good and Getting Worse

Americans continue to rate U.S. moral values negatively, on balance, and overwhelmingly agree that they are getting worse. These readings, from Gallup's May 1-12 Values poll, are the latest in the 18-year trend that shows similarly bleak findings.

A 47% plurality of Americans currently rate U.S. moral values as "poor," 36% as "only fair" and 17% as "excellent" or "good." Since 2002, no more than 23% of Americans have held a positive view of moral values; the highest negative rating was 49% last year.

For the third consecutive year, 77% of Americans think moral values in the U.S. are getting worse, slightly below Gallup's all-time 82% high in 2007. Just 19% currently believe that morals are getting better.

Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents and Republicans and Republican-leaning independents hold fairly similar views of the trajectory of moral values, as was the case from 2002-2008 and again since 2017 when Donald Trump became president.

Between 2009 and 2016 however, when Barack Obama was in the White House, Democrats were significantly less pessimistic about their outlook for moral values in the U.S. although majorities still said they were getting worse.

SOURCE:Megan Brenan, Gallup


Anne Whitaker, Editor

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Author:Whitaker, Anne
Publication:Research Alert Daily
Date:Jun 12, 2019
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