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/PRNewswire/ A new Merrill Lynch Financial Literacy Test indicates that adults across the nation have a "shockingly low" level of knowledge about basic economic facts Nike Air Huarache Print Women's
"Joining Mr. Tully at a news conference today to announce the test's results was John L. Steffens, executive vice president and head of Merrill Lynch's private client group. Mr. Steffens added: "This test is especially relevant in a world that has become more financially complex and at a time when more and more Americans are being asked to take charge of their own financial destinies. "Merrill Lynch commissioned the test as part of the firm's continuing research about the financial future facing Americans and issues like savings adequacy and retirement planning. The 10 question quiz was designed by Dr. Douglas Bernheim of Stanford University. At today's news conference, Dr.
Bernheim also introduced new research, supported in part by the National Science Foundation, documenting the strong link between financial literacy and future economic behavior. Dr. Bernheim's statistical analysis found that, after controlling for other factors, more financially literate Americans tend to save far more than Huarache Black those with less knowledge of basic economic concepts. The test was conducted by Dr. Frank Luntz, one of America's leading pollsters, who randomly selected 1,000 representative Americans over the age of 18 and contacted them by telephone during August 1994. Dr. Luntz's team allowed wide ranges for correct answers for seven questions, while two others provided respondents with a multiple choice of answers. A tenth question had o.
weekly or monthly basis. Many were unable to identify the current level of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which is the most widely reported financial statistic in America, or name the current chairman of the Federal Reserve, one of the nation's most powerful economic policy makers. In contrast, only 18 percent of those interviewed by Merrill Lynch pollsters earned a passing grade by providing 6 or more correct answers on the 10 question quiz. Of the one out of five Americans who passed, the respondents did best on questions which gauged their understanding of mortgage and compound interest rates, and the rate of return on a particular investment over time. Scores showed they have a limited knowledge of such hotly debated topics as the top federal tax Huarache Black Red
rate and the size of the federal deficit. Respondents also knew little about unemployment and inflation rates, even at a time of great public concern about the state of the nation's economy. "These questions form a good measure of what we're calling 'financial literacy' and, even given generous scoring parameters, the results are shockingly low," said Daniel P. Tully, chairman and chief executive officer. "We believe that this test goes to the heart of a very important national issue the ability of Americans to manage the economic decisions they must make day to day in order to prepare effectively for the future.
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