OECD report says many people do not have basic financial knowledge

This is the conclusion made by the OECD, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in its 2017 report G20/OECD INFE REPORT on ADULT FINANCIAL LITERACY IN G20 COUNTRIES.


Just so you know a bit about the OECD, its mission is ‘to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world. The OECD provides a forum in which governments can work together to share experiences and seek solutions to common problems’.

Well, I certainly didnt know all the members of the G20, so in case you are interested they are:

Saudi Arabia
South Africa
South Korea
United Kingdom
United States
European Union

The document is 78 pages long so its as you would expect from a bureaucracy, dense and dull, but I will try to avoid cynicism. Now I can’t reproduce any content from this publication but I have written to them asking for permission to do so and will copy some content to the blog should that be forthcoming. Or if that permission is given within 2017. Oops, cynicism already creeping in, based on UK politicians’ regular failure to reply to my emails. I live in hope of a surprise.

One key area in the report was financial knowledge, attitudes and behaviour. Apparently only 52% of adults reached the minimum target of the behaviours discussed.
When you see such questions as this example that were in the survey, we should all worry about our future!
If you lend $25 to a friend one evening, and they give you $25 back the next day, how much interest have they paid on this loan?

Now here is a shocker…46% of the respondents in Italy got this wrong!!!
***Rant alert*** Is there any correlation to the state of their banking system? Ha. As economies in the western world have racked up unpayably large debts, maybe Central Bankers & Politicians should take the test too?

For information the UK came 9th in the league table, just above the average, but when you see the countries below us, it is no consolation. They all have much worse economies and levels of corruption

What it (re-)emphasises to me is that financial education is completely inadequate and needs to be introduced at school.

I will also reiterate a view that I’ve had for some time, that “getting on the housing ladder” is not necessarily a sensible financial decision. Too many people do not understand the “maths”. That though is another subject.

For now, we should all be asking ourselves, how do we get a better financial education?

What do you think you need to know?


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