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Most people fail this simple money test: Can you pass?


By Mike Timmermann,

If you’re a fan of, you might know more about money than the average person. But a new study on financial literacy says about two-thirds of Americans have some work to do.

5 questions to test your financial literacy

The FINRA Foundation study asked participants a handful of questions about interest rates, investing, bond prices, mortgages and risk – all the basics.

However, only 37% of people answered at least four out of five questions correctly.

That’s down from the National Financial Capability Study in 2009 – during the Great Recession – when 42% of respondents got a passing grade.

Can you ace the test? Good luck! (Answers below)

Question 1: 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

Question 2: 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

Question 3: If interest rates rise, what will typically happen to bond prices?

  • They will rise
  • They will fall
  • They will stay the same
  • There is no relationship between bond prices and the interest rate

Question 4: 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
  • False

Question 5: Buying a single company’s stock usually provides a safer return than a stock mutual fund.

  • True
  • False

Those with higher financial literacy are more likely to do the things we talk a lot about here: planning for retirement, building an emergency fund and using credit cards responsibly.

Quiz answers

  1. More than $102
  2. Less than today
  3. They will fall
  4. True
  5. False
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