Temptation, the Joneses, or whatever it may be, Americans can lose all sense of control when money is involved. In Florida, 23% of individuals reported that their household spent more than their income, not including the purchase of a new home, car, or other big investment.
As we all know, a fundamental knowledge of finance is needed to be able to make sound judgments when it comes to spending, saving, and planning for the future. And, when a lawsuit brings an influx of cash, large or small, extra measures are necessary to avoid total disaster. As lawyers, most of us are talking to our clients about this and providing them with tools such as structured settlements. Clearly, as this survey shows, we need to do more.
85% of Americans got at least one of these questions wrong. Can you beat the average?
1) Buying a single company’s stock usually provides a safer return than a stock mutual fund. True or false?
53% of Americans got this right.
2) A 15-year mortgage typically requires higher monthly payments than a 30-year mortgage, but the total interest paid over the life of the loan will be less. True or false?
76% of Americans got this right.
3) If interest rates rise, what will typically happen to bond prices?
28% of Americans got this right.
4) Imagine that the interest rate on your savings account was 1% per year and inflation was 2% per year. After 1 year, how much would you be able to buy with the money in this account? More than today; exactly the same; less than today.
65% of Americans got this right.
5) Suppose you had $100 in a savings account and the interest rate was 2% per year. After 5 years, how much do you think you would have in the account if you left the money to grow? More than $102; exactly $102; less than $102.
78% of Americans got this right.