Americans Want Financial Literacy Taught in Schools

Nearly one-quarter of Millennials learn about investing in school.

Schools are beginning to teach students about finances, and many Americans feel the trend is long overdue.

Eighty-seven percent believe finance should be taught in schools, according to a survey from RBC Wealth Management-U.S. and City National Bank.  Of those in favor of incorporating financial literacy into the classroom, 15% think the instruction should begin in elementary school. The rest, 72%, say it should be taught in middle and high school.

“Having a basic understanding of how money, investing and our broader financial system works is critical in our society today,” says Tom Sagissor, president of RBC Wealth Management-U.S. “There is a growing realization, particularly in the wake of the last financial crisis, that many people don’t understand budgeting, investing or how simple financial products like loans work. That puts them at a disadvantage not only during their working years, but as they begin to contemplate retirement.”

Thirty-eight percent of Baby Boomers and 37% of Gen Xers said no one taught them about investing. However, that falls to only 29% of Millennials, with 22% saying they learned at least the basics about investing in school.

Parents also report taking a more proactive stance on teaching their children about money. Thirty-seven percent of parents with children over the age of 16 said they have done a very good job of teaching their children about money. To help parents in their quest to teach their children, RBC Wealth Management-U.S. has created a paper, “Seven Ways to Raise Money-Savvy Kids.”