Friday, April 3, 2015

“Risk Literacy”

 Using domestic and international data, Director Annamaria Lusardi finds that knowledge of financial risk is strikingly low both in the population and across a variety of demographics. Across countries and age groups, individuals show little mastery of concepts such as risk diversification and the relationship between risk and return. Indeed, in financial literacy surveys assessing knowledge of interest compounding, inflation, and risk, respondents consistently performed worst on the risk-related question. Knowledge of risk is critical to making decisions about saving and retirement planning. These findings have implications for individuals, policy makers, and the financial and insurance industry. While individuals are facing increasingly complex financial and insurance instruments, their low risk literacy may limit their ability to use these instruments on a micro level, and—on a macro level—impede the development of wellfunctioning financial markets. Read the full paper here

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