Bridging the gap between theory and practice, this study yielded a reliable and valid measure for responsible financial behaviors with the potential to serve practitioners when working with consumers. This research utilized Bandura’s Triadic Model of Causation (Bandura, 1985) to investigate and predict responsible financial behaviors. Data from the 2009, 2012, and 2018 National Financial Capability Study surveys were used to construct a responsible financial behaviors index with five subconstructs for time horizon, money management, risk management, debt awareness, and ownership of baseline financial accounts. Results from a series of regression models identified consistent relationships between the index and variables categorized as cognitive factors (financial knowledge, financial self-efficacy, and financial risk tolerance) and background characteristics (educational attainment, income, and marital status).
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This article proposes a machine-learning-based method that can predict individuals’ savings behavior in the presence of mental accounting. The proposed predictive model perceives wealth and consumption as each being divided into three nonfungible distinct classes, as posited by the mental accounting theory. The predictive model found that mental accounting categories do have predictive power on savings behavior where expenditure on discretionary items and current income are most important. Savings behavior is best predicted by the random forest model based on the Malaysia Ageing and Retirement Survey data.
- Go to article: A Bibliometric Review of Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning Between 1990 and 2022
In 1990, the Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning (JFCP) was established. The journal publishes academic research on consumer financial decision-making, financial education, counseling, and planning. This article reviews the journal’s contents published during the period 1990–2022. It analyzes JFCP’s publication trends, citation statistics, significant themes, authors’ collaborations, keywords, and contributions to the literature of consumer finance. Most studies employed Life Cycle Hypothesis and Expected Utility Theory. JFCP publishes mostly US-based quantitative empirical studies. JFCP’s eight knowledge themes are credit card behavior; financial literacy and financial behavior; financial risk tolerance; financial education, and financial behavior; financial distress and financial self-efficacy; financial well-being; workplace financial education and financial help-seeking behavior, and JFCP’s retrospection. Among JFCP’s articles, the most used keywords selected by authors are “survey of consumer finances” and “financial literacy.” This study also describes the author, country, and concept networks.
- Go to article: Subjective and Objective Financial Knowledge and Their Associations with Financial Risk Tolerance
This article examines the relationship between the financial risk-taking behavior of individual investors and their subjective and objective knowledge. The data come from multiple waves of surveys conducted by the National Financial Capability Study between 2009 and 2018. We hypothesize that subjective knowledge will have a greater association with risk tolerance than objective knowledge of individual investors. Regression models are estimated with least squares as well as with the ordered logit method. Estimation results show that individual investors’ risk tolerance behavior is associated more with their subjective knowledge than their objective knowledge. This is true in all four surveys separately and in the combined sample. Additionally, as hypothesized, the relative influence of subjective knowledge on risk tolerance, compared to objective knowledge, increases as the survey periods move further away from the financial recession of 2007–2008. This article has important implications for behavioral and personal finance researchers, financial advisors, and regulators.
- Go to article: How Confident Are Personal Finance Teachers? A Survey of High School Instructors in the United States
How Confident Are Personal Finance Teachers? A Survey of High School Instructors in the United States
Nonprofit organizations and regional universities have increasingly offered professional development opportunities for potential personal finance teachers as states and school districts have increasingly required high school students to take personal finance courses. Yet, current measures on teacher confidence and dispositions shadow these updates. This article employs unique data on high school teachers to estimate their confidence levels, professional development take-up, and attitudes about teaching personal finance courses in schools. The results show that 95% of teachers are confident in teaching personal finance. Teachers with licensure outside of business or economics were more likely to take up professional development in personal finance instruction. Meanwhile, 86% of teachers support a graduation requirement for personal finance instruction in high school. These findings suggest that high schools have the capacity to teach personal finance but also underscore the need for low-cost, easily accessible professional development opportunities.
- Go to article: Financial Literacy Overconfidence, Mobile Financial Service Use, and High-Cost Borrowing
This study provides theory and evidence on the relation between financial literacy overconfidence (FLO) and high-cost borrowing and its mediation and moderation through mobile financial services (MFS). We investigate whether MFS carry the effect of FLO on the household demand for alternative financial services (AFS), such as payday loans. Using the 2018 National Financial Capability Study, we show that using MFS both mediates and moderates the effect of FLO on the use of AFS. We find that unbanked households, who make up around 5% of the sample, are twice as likely to take out payday loans and three times as likely to use AFS than households with access to the banking system. Estimates show that 4% of the total effect of FLO on using AFS and taking out payday loans is mediated by using MFS. We find that households who use MFS are two to three times more likely to access AFS and take out payday loans than those who do not use MFS.
- Go to article: A Framework for Measuring Financial Inclusion in India: Bridging Gaps Between Theory and Practice
None of the currently used financial inclusion measurement indices covers savings, credit, remittance, and insurance services across access, usage, quality, and outcome dimensions as per globally accepted operational definitions of financial inclusion. Different indices have different combinations of financial inclusion indicators with some focusing on quantitative aspects and others on behavioral aspects alone. This makes the cross-cultural comparison of financial inclusion very difficult. The proliferation of new indices also hampers systematic knowledge advancement with significant disconnect between theory and practice. This paper analyses various loopholes in existing financial inclusion measurement methods and presents a very simple, flexible, innovative yet comprehensive measurement framework with immense theoretical, practical, and policy implications using India as the context.
- Go to article: Attitudes Toward Educational Loan Repayment Among College Students: A Qualitative Enquiry
The mounting educational loan delinquency is compelling bankers to discover various methods to reduce defaults in educational loan repayment. Policymakers emphasize designing a self-sustaining education financing model as a pathway to achieve inclusive education advocated by the United Nations. Willingness to repay is an attitudinal factor that envisages delinquency. With an aim to study the attitude of borrowers toward educational loan repayment using phenomenological research design, in-depth interviews were conducted with 40 postgraduate student borrowers from India to explore students’ loan repayment concerns. A qualitative data analysis software was used to consolidate data and visualize themes. The thematic analysis results include 11 subthemes classified under themes of positive and negative attitudes. Gratification, quality of life, and debt burden are the subthemes of negative attitude that may cause educational loan delinquency. Credit history, debt utility, financial knowledge, prioritizing repayment, integrity, and parenting practices are the subthemes of positive attitude that may help reduce educational loan delinquency. Practitioners in consumer finance can use the themes to assess the repayment attitude of the borrower, and educators can increase the financial knowledge of the borrowers.
- Go to article: Financial Capability and Saving Behavior: Evidence From Industrial Workers in Thailand
This article uses unique survey data to examine the determinants and potential impacts of financial capability on the savings decisions of Thai industrial workers. A random sample of 352 individuals was interviewed, using the questionnaire to gather information on demographics and financial capability. It finds that less than half of the respondents were able to handle an emergency expense of 1 month’s income without borrowing. The results indicate that socioeconomic factors including education level, household income, and age are the key determinants of financial capability. Migrant workers from remote regions of the country are more likely to have a lower financial capability, especially in the financial knowledge component. An instrumental variable approach is used to investigate its potential impact on saving behavior. Overall, the strong and positive association between financial capability and savings adequacy suggests that financial education initiatives should place a strong emphasis on household budgeting and savings.
This study examines associations between a set of financial stress factors and three types of utilizations of mobile financial technology (fintech) from a stress-coping perspective. With data from the 2018 National Financial Capability Study, the results indicated that financial stress, perceived overindebtedness, and stressful financial stressors were positively related to the usage of mobile fintech for fundamental financial task management, mobile transaction, and mobile banking. Policy makers need to be aware of the opportunities generated within the growing fintech industry and its potential role as a stress-coping resource for consumers experiencing financial stress, perceived overindebtedness, and financial stressor events. Financial practitioners, educators, and institutions can apply the findings of this study as they develop and promote financial services and products through mobile devices to create greater access for individuals to cope with financial stress and difficulties.
Given the soaring costs of higher education, financial aid is helpful to reduce the direct costs of college. Student loans are the most common financial support for college students. The purpose of this research was to estimate whether student loan holding and amounts were negatively associated with life satisfaction utilizing 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017, and 2019 waves of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. This study utilized the fixed-effects-logit model to demonstrate the association. The results showed that holding student loans was negatively associated with life satisfaction. But there was no statistically significant association when student loans were measured as the actual amount. The existence of student loans rather than the amount was what was associated with decreased utility in the short term. This study mainly focused on the change of “within-group” effect on life satisfaction in the short run. The findings underscore the importance of education savings from parents and use of student loans on overall life satisfaction practitioners.
- Go to article: A Brief Budgeting Intervention’s Association With Financial Self-Efficacy in a College Student Success Course
A Brief Budgeting Intervention’s Association With Financial Self-Efficacy in a College Student Success Course
This study examined whether a budgeting intervention offered in a student success course was related to self-reported changes in college students’ financial self-efficacy, financial management behaviors, or financial stress. Participants from a midwestern public university were asked to complete an optional survey prior to the intervention and a postintervention survey 6 weeks after the intervention. Descriptive analyses were used to determine whether students’ responses significantly changed over time. The budgeting intervention was positively and significantly related to financial self-efficacy; however, students’ self-reported financial management behaviors and financial stress did not significantly change. The results lend support for the role that a financial literacy and budgeting intervention can play in relation to college students’ financial self-efficacy among a sample of students who did not specifically self-select into a financial information course and with a relatively short-term and low-cost intervention that can be easily replicated.
This study explored the associations among personal financial planning, self‐control, and financial satisfaction using a sample of 293 employees of universities in Ghana. Based on the partial least squares structural equation modeling analyses, the results showed that financial planning and self‐control had positive relationships with financial satisfaction and that self-control partially mediated the relationship between financial planning and financial satisfaction.
- Go to article: Transitioning Veterans’ Participation in Financial Program Components, Financial Satisfaction, and Ability to Meet Immediate Financial Needs
Transitioning Veterans’ Participation in Financial Program Components, Financial Satisfaction, and Ability to Meet Immediate Financial Needs
Financial programs may help veterans who have problematic financial status (PFS). As they support veterans, they improve their ability to meet their immediate financial needs (IFN) and financial satisfaction (FS) after their military-to-civilian transition. This study examined the use of financial programs and distilled them into their content components and the processes by which content components are delivered. This study examined the degree to which the use of specific content and process components resulted in changes in IFN and FS over the first 30–33 months after the transition. Financial content components, including investment, budgeting, homeownership, accessing benefits, and credit-score information, were associated with either improved IFN or FS. Interactive tools were often a significant process component associated with the above content components. These findings can assist program developers and practitioners in promoting the use of content and process components that may aid veterans who are experiencing PFS.
- Go to article: Exploring Processes of Financial Decision-Making Among Emerging Adults: Evidence From A Qualitative Study
Exploring Processes of Financial Decision-Making Among Emerging Adults: Evidence From A Qualitative Study
Emerging adults face an increasingly complicated financial climate, which necessitates that they possess dynamic financial decision-making skills. With an increased understanding of emerging adults’ financial decision-making processes and what influences their financial decisions, parents, financial counselors, and other individuals can better prepare emerging adults to be financially independent. This qualitative study explored how emerging adults make financial decisions by asking questions about their habits and preferences as well as responding to two hypothetical, financial-related dilemma scenarios. Participants engaged in interactive learning sessions where they were able to share their responses in a group setting. Findings indicated that participants consulted media and their parents the most when they needed advice or additional information to make financial decisions. Based on this study’s findings, it is recommended that financial literacy programs involve emerging adults’ families and leverage the influence of media when teaching financial knowledge and skills.
Financial coaching, a hands-on financial wellness approach, has emerged as a go-to strategy to help clients establish and reach their personal financial goals. We analyzed the borrowing and repayment behavior of 1,790 clients who received financial coaching through a program sponsored by the state of Delaware. Relative to a matched comparison group, financial coaching clients cure 0.24 more delinquent accounts, reduce credit card utilization by 5 percentage points, reduce the number of debts in collections by an additional 0.37 accounts, and have $422 less in credit card debt. Findings also show a 7 percentage point increase in the share of clients with a credit card and a 6 percentage point increase in the share of clients with a student loan. We do not see consistent differences in personal installment loans or mortgage holding. These estimates provide evidence that financial coaching can provide benefits for clients while being provided on a state-wide scale, illustrating the potential of public–private programs to provide services.
- Go to article: Coping Strategies to Improve Financial Well-Being During the COVID-19 Pandemic in an Emerging Economy
Coping Strategies to Improve Financial Well-Being During the COVID-19 Pandemic in an Emerging Economy
This article examines the influence of financial self-efficacy, financial behavior, financial stress, and financial stressor events on the financial well-being (FWB) of Malaysians during the COVID-19 pandemic. The article then analyzes the moderating effects of three types of coping strategies (self-coping, borrowing, and government aid) on the relationship between financial stress and financial stressor events (income loss, creditor, and legal action stressor events) and FWB. Analyses from a sample of 738 Malaysian working adults indicated that financial self-efficacy and financial behavior were positively related to FWB, while financial stress and financial stressor events were negatively related to FWB. Self-coping and borrowing reduced the negative effect of financial stress on FWB, while the government aid coping strategy reduced the impact of income loss and legal action stressor events on FWB. The study contributes to the literature by examining coping strategies and financial stressor events by three distinct categories in the context of an emerging market.
Research on residential preferences has consistently orbited around their been correlation with economic and social factors. This study builds on the existing literature by investigating the personality characteristics that shape residential behavior. The specific objective is to examine the Big Five personality traits (OCEAN)—openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism—and their relationship with the value of individuals’ primary residences and mortgage debt using data collected from the Health and Retirement Study. Regression models are estimated to examine the associations between the OCEAN personality traits and home value and mortgage debt. The findings reveal the following associations: openness and conscientiousness are associated positively, and agreeableness is associated negatively, with larger home values; whereas openness and agreeableness are associated positively, and conscientiousness and neuroticism are associated negatively, with larger mortgage debts.
- Go to article: Using Cognitive Science and Technology to Enhance Financial Education: The Effect of Spaced Retrieval Practice
Using Cognitive Science and Technology to Enhance Financial Education: The Effect of Spaced Retrieval Practice
Financial literacy is an important life skill, yet the impact of financial education has often been found to be modest. We conducted a field experiment to assess the effectiveness of a postinstruction intervention using a smartphone app that incorporated cognitive science principles aimed at improving learning. College students who completed a required credit review workshop during their sophomore year used the smartphone app in one of three practice conditions: control (no practice), massed, or spaced retrieval practice with elaborative feedback. On a final assessment about 5 months later, students who engaged in spaced retrieval practice were superior to those in the control and massed practice conditions in terms of knowledge. Given the ubiquity of smartphones today, the results highlight the potential of harnessing easily accessible technology as learning tools to augment the retention and transfer of knowledge.
The purpose of this study was to examine the association between myopic time discounting and financial well-being moderated by financial knowledge, guided by the dual-self model. Regression results with data from the 2016 National Financial Well-Being Survey sponsored by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau showed that myopia was associated negatively with financial well-being. In addition, financial knowledge was positively associated with financial well-being, and it plays an important role as a moderator on the association between myopia and financial well-being. When both financial knowledge’s direct and interactive effects were considered, financial knowledge may increase the financial well-being of myopic discounters at much smaller rates than nonmyopic discounters. This study provides implications for financial practitioners, educators, and researchers in helping consumers improve their financial well-being.
- Go to article: Financial Literacy Content Areas for Professional Athletes: Evidence From a Qualitative Study
Many people spend their working lives accumulating financial resources to sustain them once they retire, which is usually in their early to mid-60s. However, the working lives of professional athletes are unique, with finite sports careers and a range of possible challenges during the transitional phase after their sports careers have ended. This study shows an illustrative framework for financial literacy content areas required by professional athletes to achieve long-term financial well-being. Actor–network theory guided the completion of 27 semistructured face-to-face interviews as well as 10 structured follow-up interviews conducted in South Africa among networks of rugby and cricket players to develop and validate the framework. The research findings suggest professional athletes should take responsibility for their financial planning and have the financial literacy skills to seek, interpret, and apply financial advice. The findings also provide some considerations for education initiatives to improve the financial literacy of professional athletes. The results of this study have implications for professional athletes as well as financial planners, educators, and others positioned to potentially influence the professional athletes’ financial decisions.
- Go to article: Exploring Gender- and Race-Based Financial Stereotypes in Black and White College Students
Financial behavior disparities across race and gender persist in the United States. Historical and structural factors contribute to such disparities. It is important to understand the psychological mechanisms underlying these disparities to begin to achieve wealth equity. This study addressed one potentially relevant psychological construct: stereotypes about financial behaviors. Using a sample of 114 college students from a large public university, the study explored societally held beliefs about financial behaviors. The results showed that White men were generally viewed as more financially competent than White women, who were viewed as more financially competent than Black men and Black women. Implications for financial education and financial behaviors are discussed.
- Go to article: Financial Socialization Agents and Spending Behavior of Emerging Adults: Do Parents, Peers, Employment, and Media Matter?
Financial Socialization Agents and Spending Behavior of Emerging Adults: Do Parents, Peers, Employment, and Media Matter?
Using consumer socialization theory, this study examined the associations between perceived influence of parents, peers, employment, and media and spending behaviors of emerging adult college students from three different regions of the US: Northeast, South Atlantic, and Mountain regions. Data from the Emerging Adult Financial Capability Study (N = 2,322) were analyzed using structural equation modeling. Greater parental and employment influences perceived by the students were linked with more responsible spending behaviors, while greater peer and media influences were associated with less responsible spending behaviors. This study highlights the importance of the home and the workplace as the nexus for financial learning. This knowledge can help focus efforts to help future emerging adult college students learn responsible spending behaviors.
- Go to article: Financial Advice Use and Saving for Children’s College Education: A Propensity Score Matching Approach
Financial Advice Use and Saving for Children’s College Education: A Propensity Score Matching Approach
This study examines the effects of financial advice on college-saving decisions using data sets from the 2009 and 2012 U.S. National Financial Capability Study. After controlling for self-selection bias through propensity score matching, the findings show that receiving financial advice is associated positively with the likelihood of saving for children’s college education. Other findings reveal that seeking specific types of financial advice relating to savings/investment, insurance, and tax planning is positively associated with a household’s decision to allocate money for their children’s postsecondary education. The ensuing discussion highlights that policies incentivizing households to seek financial advice could promote college savings and contribute to reduction in student loan dependence.
This article examines the effect of financial trust on the demand for financial advice in Singapore. Using a general population sample, we study how consumers’ trust in financial institutions impacts both their advice-seeking and advice-adopting behaviors. Only 4 in 10 respondents state that they usually seek (or adopt) advice from a financial advisor before investing their savings. We find that financial trust is a strong predictor of both behavioral outcomes, even after accounting for endogeneity and a number of covariates. Furthermore, the estimated effect of financial trust on adopt advice is larger than that on seek advice. These results are robust to variations in empirical specifications. Results also reveal that education is positively associated with the demand for financial advice, while ethnic minorities are less inclined to seek or adopt professional advice. Our findings underscore the importance of enhancing consumers’ trust in financial institutions as a means to further develop the financial services sector and financial advice markets.
- Go to article: Social Factors Associated With Financial Behavior of Women Borrowing Microfinance Loans: Evidence From a Developing Economy
Social Factors Associated With Financial Behavior of Women Borrowing Microfinance Loans: Evidence From a Developing Economy
Women borrowers in the microfinance sector can have an important social and economic impact on any economy. The financial behavior of women is one of the important issues besetting a country, particularly a developing country. However, social factors associated with women’s financial behavior have not been investigated adequately. This study aimed at examining social factors associated with women’s financial behavior within the microfinance sector of the Northern and Eastern provinces of Sri Lanka. A sample of 298 women living in civil war-affected provinces who have secured microfinance loans and were currently suffering from the consequences of such borrowings was used for the study. The results obtained from the structured questionnaire showed that financial socialization, perceived social support, and personal social capital are associated with the financial behavior of these women. The findings of this study have implications for policymakers, microfinance institutions, and scholars in their attempts to expand support for women borrowers.
- Go to article: More Than a Score? Indirect Associations Between Credit Score and Romantic Relationship Quality in Emerging Adulthood
More Than a Score? Indirect Associations Between Credit Score and Romantic Relationship Quality in Emerging Adulthood
Higher credit scores have unique financial benefits that may aid in emerging adults’ efforts toward financial independence. Yet, it is unknown if higher credit scores may also yield romantic relationship benefits. In a sample of 916 U.S. emerging adults, we used structural equation modeling to test the indirect associations between credit score and romantic relationship quality. Credit score was positively associated with financial self-efficacy and negatively associated with financial deception. Additionally, credit score was indirectly associated with romantic relationship quality through financial self-efficacy and financial deception. We encourage educators and clinicians working with emerging adults in romantic relationships to help these emerging adults learn how to establish credit and raise their credit scores, which might improve financial and relational outcomes.
Financial literacy scales are often used as a diagnostic tool to assess financial knowledge levels among various populations, although few of them have undergone empirical testing. This study utilized exploratory factor analysis (EFA) with a sample of Chinese rural migrant workers to identify the underlying structure of a financial literacy scale and its psychometric properties. EFA reduced the 23 items to 5 factors that explain for 69.08% of the variance in financial literacy. Five factors are identified that are daily money management, math skills, saving and borrowing, inflation, and long-term investment. Findings suggest that practitioners who work with migrant workers or groups with lower income, lower educational levels can use this instrument to assess financial literacy levels and explore interventions that improve specific areas of financial knowledge.
The focus of this article is to quantitatively evaluate and compare three of the most popular defined benefit plan types based on various variable assumptions. The decision of when to retire and take a pension, or being given the option to change plans, often happens only once. This makes the evaluation and comparison critical. This paper provides a numerical analysis with a broad perspective so that employees with varying career situations and retirement plans can better evaluate their financial standing. Data sources include standard economic assumptions used in valuing pension plans, as well as a survey of employer sponsored pension plans. Recent pension plans provide more flexibility by paying out pensions as a single lump sum, however, these plans generally provide lower benefits.
This study examined attitudes about the relevance of retirement planning and affect associated with it (retirement involvement) of adults (18–65-years-old), taking racial/ethnic status into consideration. Drawing on online survey data, between-group significance testing revealed that racial/ethnic minority (REM; n = 355) and White (n = 543) participants did not differ in mean levels of retirement involvement, but the REM sample perceived retirement involvement as less relevant to their respective racial/ethnic groups. Similar four-profile solutions consisting of Low, Moderate, High, and Mixed-Reactive Retirement Involvement latent subgroups emerged for both samples in Latent Profile Analyses. Findings revealed distinct racial/ethnic variations in demographic and financial capacity predictors of profile subgroup classification. Results signaled a need for more culturally focused financial counseling and planning research and interventions.
- Go to article: Exploring Determinants of Desirable Financial Behaviors Using Decision Tree Analysis Evidence From Four Waves of National Financial Capability Study
Exploring Determinants of Desirable Financial Behaviors Using Decision Tree Analysis Evidence From Four Waves of National Financial Capability Study
The purpose of this article is to utilize decision tree (DT) analysis to examine the relationship between income level, financial satisfaction, financial confidence, financial knowledge, and several demographics with a goal of better understanding desirable financial behavior. The emphasis of this analysis is focused particularly upon better understanding the role of financial knowledge in desirable behavior outcomes. DT analysis is most useful when an analysis includes numerous variables and solving problems where the cumulative learning process is inherent. Our DT analysis of four FINRA National Financial Capability datasets (2009, 2012, 2015, and 2018) suggest that financial knowledge is a relevant variable only under specific circumstances and for respondents with relatively higher income levels. Key variables in the DT analysis included income level and financial satisfaction.
- Go to article: Are There Racial and Gender Preferences When Hiring a Financial Planner? An Experimental Design on Diversity in Financial Planning
Are There Racial and Gender Preferences When Hiring a Financial Planner? An Experimental Design on Diversity in Financial Planning
The purpose of this study was to examine the likelihood of consumers hiring a financial planner based on race and gender utilizing an experimental design. Using a sample of Black and White MTurk respondents, cumulative logistic regression was employed to determine the effects of race and gender on the likelihood to hire a financial planner. Findings suggested that, overall, consumers did not have racially biased preferences when hiring a financial planner. However, they did express a preference for hiring female planners over male planners. Financial planning firms can use these findings to strengthen their support for and recruitment of women financial planners, as well as address concerns of racial bias amongst consumers.
- Go to article: The Disappointment Dilemma: The Role of Expectation Proclivity and Disappointment Aversion in Describing Financial Risk Aversion and Investing Risk-Taking Behavior
The Disappointment Dilemma: The Role of Expectation Proclivity and Disappointment Aversion in Describing Financial Risk Aversion and Investing Risk-Taking Behavior
This article adds to the existing literature on financial risk aversion and risk taking by testing the possibility that a person’s degree of disappointment aversion, as an anticipatory emotion, may be an antecedent of risk-taking behavior. In this regard, the purpose of this article is to introduce two interrelated measures—the expectation-proclivity scale and the disappointment-aversion scale—and to establish the empirical association between expectation-proclivity and disappointment-aversion scale scores and financial risk aversion and financial risk taking. Results from this study show that disappointment aversion is positively associated with financial risk aversion, whereas establishing high outcome expectations is negatively related with financial risk aversion. Additionally, findings show that disappointment aversion and expectation proclivity are inversely related. Findings from this study provide support for what is termed in this article the disappointment dilemma hypothesis. Specifically, financial decision-makers who are averse to disappointment may be prone to allocating assets and investment dollars in ways that minimize or avoid disappointment in the short-run, but by doing so, may regret risk-avoiding behavior in the future.
- Go to article: Associations Between Financial Stressors and Financial Behaviors: Does Race/Ethnicity Matter?
Using data from the 2018 National Financial Capability Study (NFCS), this study examined the associations between financial stressors and financial behaviors, and how these associations differ by race/ethnicity. The descriptive results showed that Black and Hispanic individuals reported higher financial stressors than White and Asian/Other individuals. The regression results showed that higher financial stressors significantly increased undesirable financial behaviors and decreased desirable financial behaviors. The regression results also revealed that Black individuals engaged in significantly more undesirable financial behaviors, while Hispanic and Asian/Other individuals did not differ significantly from White individuals. Further analyses for racial/ethnic differences in the associations between financial stressors and behaviors suggest that race/ethnicity moderated the relationship between the financial stressors and financial behaviors. Specifically, Black individuals with high financial stressors engaged in fewer undesirable financial behaviors, but they also engaged in fewer desirable financial behaviors as compared to the other racial and ethnic groups. Implications for financial counselors, financial educators, and other financial professionals are discussed.
Negative home equity is due to declines in home values, largely driven by economic factors, and increases in mortgage debt, a decision made by individuals. Yet, empirical research assessing the individual’s role in the occurrence of negative home equity is limited. This study used the 2018 National Financial Capability Study to explore the association between financial literacy, savings, and debt at the individual level on the occurrence of negative home equity. The findings revealed that objective financial knowledge and financial security were negatively associated with the occurrence of negative home equity, while having a home equity loan, using a payday loan, having medical debt, and exceeding credit card limits were positively associated with the occurrence of negative home equity.
- Go to article: Financial Capability, Financial Education, and Student Loan Debt: Expected and Unexpected Results
This study used the 2015 National Financial Capability Study to investigate the relationships among financial capability, financial education, and student loan debt outcomes. Specifically, this study examines four student loan outcomes: delinquency, stress, preparation, and satisfaction among borrowers who obtained loans for themselves. Three forms of financial capability (objective financial knowledge, subjective financial knowledge, and perceived financial capability) and two forms of financial education (formal school/workplace education and informal parental education) were used as potential predictors in the study. The Probit regression results showed that expectedly, several financial capability and financial education factors were positively associated with desirable financial outcomes such as loan calculation and loan satisfaction, and negatively associated with undesirable outcomes such as loan stress and loan delinquency. However, this study also showed several unexpected results. For example, objective financial knowledge was negatively associated with loan calculation and loan satisfaction, and subjective knowledge and formal financial education were positively associated with loan delinquency.
Although risk preferences and inheritance expectations should affect annuitization decisions, few studies have empirically tested these relations. This study bridges the gap in the prior literature by investigating potential effects that consumer risk aversion and inheritance expectations have on annuitization. Using data from the 2012 wave of the Health and Retirement Study, this study finds that consumers who are more risk averse have a higher likelihood of owning household annuity income compared to consumers who are less risk averse. Consumers with a higher inheritance expectation are more likely to have household annuity income compared to those with a lower inheritance expectation. Finally, when risk aversion is interacted with inheritance expectation, it increases the likelihood of household annuity ownership.
- Go to article: Financial Knowledge and Financial Fragility: A Consideration of the Neighborhood Effect
This study explores the association between financial knowledge and financial fragility. Data from the 2015 National Financial Capability Study were used to create an index of financial fragility. Relationships between this index and three different measures of financial knowledge were assessed. To mitigate potential endogeneity in the financial knowledge measures, such as neighborhood effect defined as social interactions or characteristics of communities that influence socioeconomic and health behaviors or outcomes of individuals, the neighborhood average education level in US zip code units was used as an instrumental variable. The results from the baseline Ordinary Least Squares regression models and Two Stage Least Squares (2SLS) regression models indicated a negative relationship between financial knowledge and financial fragility; the effect was greater when the instrumental variable was used. Our findings with the neighborhood effect suggest which groups could be a focus for future research as well as offering practical interventions. Further, when designing and implementing educational and behavioral interventions, the knowledge-based approach should gain continued support from financial education, planning, and counseling programs.
In this article, we projected household financial vulnerability in the COVID-19 pandemic. Using a nationally representative sample of households from the 2017 Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), we analyzed potential changes in financial status in the pandemic resulting from loss of income and savings from discretionary consumption. We provided a ranking of household groups by their financial vulnerability and the first estimate of the number of households at various degrees of financial vulnerability. Our study showed that a substantial part of the universal stimulus payments was made to households that had sufficient income to cover basic needs and those saved by reducing discretionary expenses. For the most financially vulnerable, the first one-time stimulus payment was too little and too late to help with their financial difficulties. Our findings shed light on to whom and in what form the US government should direct financial assistance during the pandemic.
When the COVID-19 pandemic caused businesses to close and triggered high unemployment in 2020, millions of unbanked U.S. households, those without a bank account, had to wait for weeks and months for their stimulus checks to arrive. The delayed delivery of stimulus checks issued by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act sheds light on the critical role that safe, affordable financial services and products play in people’s ability to cope with financial shocks. Dialogues over banking practices have been framed with a banked-unbanked dichotomous framework that masks more nuanced understandings of households’ financial realities, including the underbanked, who use a bank account and alternative financial services simultaneously. Using data from the 2015 National Financial Capability Study, this study identifies and compares predictors of being underbanked and unbanked, respectively. We found that the underbanked group is a sizable, distinctively different group. Income volatility and welfare benefit receipt are both associated with being underbanked rather than unbanked. Our findings call for expanding the current, limited framework to gain more complete, nuanced understandings of banking practices.
A significant ongoing initiative is to identify the conditions under which financial education is most effective, as it has been shown to work much better in some circumstances than others. One factor to consider is mathematical capability, as it has been linked to improved financial knowledge and financial outcomes. In this paper, we investigated one aspect of math capability: math confidence (that is, self-reported math ability). We examined how this factor interacts with financial education (measured by the number of financial education courses taken) with data from the 2018 National Financial Capability Survey (NFCS). We found that both mathematical confidence and financial education were positively associated with financial behaviors and, moreover, that the effects were largely independent rather than acting as substitutes – suggesting that future intervention work should consider both factors.
- Go to article: Financial Literacy, Financial Advice, and Stock Market Participation: Evidence From Malaysia
The study examined the influence of financial literacy and financial advice on individuals’ stock market participation in Malaysia. Using survey data from 216 individuals aged 18 years old and above, this study revealed that both financial literacy and financial advice were positively associated with the likelihood of participating in the stock market. Individuals with higher financial literacy, especially advanced financial literacy, were more likely to participate in the stock market. Those who sought advice from financial advisors were also more likely to invest in the stock market. The findings underscore intervention opportunities for regulators, educators and financial advisors in promoting stock market participation in emerging countries.
This study investigated the association between student debt and healthcare service usage utilizing pooled data collected from the 2015 to 2018 waves of the National Financial Capability Study. The findings of this study suggest that, when compared to those without student debt, student debt holders have a lower likelihood of filling prescriptions for medicine, going to a doctor or clinic when they have a medical problem, and going to medical tests, treatments, and follow-up appointments. The findings and ensuing discussion add to the mounting evidence of the many challenges associated with student debt repayment.
- Go to article: Consumer Financial Access Trends After the Great Recession: A Latent Transition Analysis
This study examined the U.S. household financial access trends during 2012–2018 after the Great Recession of 2007–2009. Data was from a nationally representative sample (n = 2,094) of adults from the American Life Panel who completed questions from the National Financial Capability Study (NFCS) in 2012 and 2018. Latent transition analysis (LTA) was used to examine trends across seven financial access indicators, including banked status and alternative financial services (AFS) use. Results suggest the presence of three latent statuses Low Access, Partial Access, and High Access. Only 24.5% of people in the Low Access status and 2.6% of people in the Partial Access status in 2012 transitioned into the better financial access status in 2018. Policy and practice implications to improve people’s financial access are discussed.
- Go to article: A Comparison of the Financial, Emotional, and Physical Consequences of Identity Theft Victimization Among Familial and Non-Familial Victims
A Comparison of the Financial, Emotional, and Physical Consequences of Identity Theft Victimization Among Familial and Non-Familial Victims
Identity theft victims often experience negative financial, emotional, and physical consequences. Many cases of identity theft are perpetrated by family members, yet little is known about consequences familial identity theft victims experience and how they may differ from those who were victimized by a non-relative. The purpose of this study was to examine potential differences in consequences of identity theft victimization among familial and non-familial identity theft victims. Findings indicate younger identity theft victims are more likely to experience feelings of worry and anxiousness due to victimization, relative to older identity theft victims. No differences were found among familial and non-familial identity theft victims regarding physical consequences of victimization, nor were any differences found in the amount of financial losses incurred.
This article summarizes a field-based experiment exploring an individual and small-group financial coaching intervention. Both types of coaching programs had the same goal: To develop clients’ financial capability through a series of planned meetings focusing on client driven goals. Results indicated clients who were coached either individually or in groups demonstrated increases in financial knowledge, gains in confidence, reductions in stress, and positive changes in behavior. The findings provide support for coaching as an intervention for developing financial capability and suggests group coaching as an alternative for reaching more clients and spreading financial capability more widely in a cost-effective way.
This study explores financial knowledge patterns from 2009 to 2018, focusing on objective and subjective knowledge, overconfidence in financial knowledge, and “Don’t know” responses. We used four waves of National Financial Capability Study (NFCS) datasets. Objective financial knowledge was lower in 2018 than in 2009, and the proportion of individuals who were overconfident was higher in 2018 than in 2009. The mean number of “Don’t know” responses to objective knowledge questions increased consistently over the period. Most of these patterns persisted when we controlled for household characteristics in regressions. The lack of increases in financial knowledge despite formal and informal educational efforts raises the question as to whether existing efforts for formal and informal education are sufficient.
- Go to article: Divorce and Asset Burn: Using Retirement Planning Techniques to Model Long-Term Outcomes of Divorce
Financial professionals involved in divorce proceedings, whether for a client or an attorney, often use software to project the ability of a dependent spouse to earn income off of her separate estate. These projections have historically relied on static inputs and use a Monte Carlo simulation to illustrate the paths a portfolio might take. Within this study, the effects on dynamic income and expense changes on outcomes were examined. A comparison was made between the traditional Monte Carlo methods and Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) methods. Results using MCMC methods more closely approximated investment return distribution, and illustrated investable assets were the primary driver of long-term success, and not items such as spousal or child support. Practical implications for financial professionals, family law attorneys, judges, and clients are discussed as well as opportunities for future research.
- Go to article: Financial Decision-Making Responsibility and Household Wealth Accumulation Among Older Adults: A Comparative Advantage Perspective
Financial Decision-Making Responsibility and Household Wealth Accumulation Among Older Adults: A Comparative Advantage Perspective
This article introduces collective rationality and comparative advantage into understanding household financial decision-making responsibility allocation and its relationship to wealth accumulation. Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) shows that conscientiousness, memory, and numeracy are favorable personal attributes for household financial decision-making. Greater relative advantages in these attributes predict a higher probability of assuming financial responsibility. Households that assign the disadvantaged spouse as the financial decision-maker tend to have a lower total net worth and a lower financial net worth. Our results suggest that it is critical for financial planning professionals to engage both spouses in the initial discussion of household finances and to assess the efficiency of the status quo financial decision-making responsibility allocation.
This study examined the association between financial literacy and the decision to withdraw funds from different types of retirement accounts before retirement. Data from the 2012 and 2015 National Financial Capability Study were used to investigate if financial literacy may potentially influence the decision to dissave from funds already set aside for retirement. The results showed that lower financial literacy appeared to increase the likelihood to retract funds saved for retirement, across different types of retirement accounts. The importance of financial literacy persisted, even after controlling for income shocks to personal finances, the availability of precautionary savings as an alternative source of funding, and an extensive set of demographic variables.
- Go to article: What, Me Worry? Financial Knowledge Overconfidence and the Perception of Emergency Fund Needs
We examined the association between financial knowledge overconfidence and the perception of emergency fund needs using the 2016 Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) dataset. Only 28% of respondents reported a perceived amount of emergency funds needed that would cover at least three months of estimated spending. We conducted an OLS regression analysis on the log of the ratio of perceived emergency fund needs to household monthly expenditure. Overconfident respondents perceived a ratio 21.4% lower than those who had objective and subjective financial knowledge above median levels. Overconfident respondents might be underestimating emergency fund needs, suggesting the importance of not only increasing objective financial knowledge but also making consumers aware of the limitations of their financial knowledge.
This study used the 2017 National Financial Well-Being Survey to investigate the relationship between cognitive ability and seeking financial advice. Three aspects of cognitive ability were examined: memory, objective numeracy, and subjective numeracy. The results showed that in general, the three were not associated with seeking financial advice. However, after decomposing the sources of the advice, we found that among financial advice-seekers, memory and objective numeracy were positively associated with seeking financial advice from family. When adding the interactions between cognitive ability factors and age, older individuals with good memories were less likely to seek advice from family, while older individuals with higher objective numeracy were less likely to use social networks to seek financial advice. The study’s findings suggest future development in policies and practices to benefit those with low cognitive abilities to seek better financial advice using multiple advice sources.
- Go to article: The Impact of Financial Coaching on Older Adult Victims of Financial Exploitation: A Quasi-Experimental Research Study
The Impact of Financial Coaching on Older Adult Victims of Financial Exploitation: A Quasi-Experimental Research Study
The financial exploitation (FE) of older adults affects not only victims’ finances, but also their health. This preliminary study investigated the impacts of a financial coaching program on the financial, neurocognitive, physical, and emotional health of older adult victims of FE. Twenty older adults residing in a large urban area who had experienced FE were compared at baseline and follow-up with a group of 20 older adult of the same area who were making important financial decisions, but had not experienced FE and did not receive the intervention. At baseline, both groups were similar on demographic variables, but participants who had experienced FE had more health problems, poorer memory and executive functioning, less social support, and greater stress than the comparison group. Six months after financial coaching ended, program participants had significantly less anxiety. Overall, older adult victims of FE showed no significant declines and, in fact, showed some improvement.
- Go to article: Factors Associated with Financial Ratios and Financial Well-Being of Hispanic Households: A Comparison With White Households
Factors Associated with Financial Ratios and Financial Well-Being of Hispanic Households: A Comparison With White Households
Using data from the 2016 Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) and the Family Life Cycle (FLC) and Human Capital Theory (HCT) as a framework, this study examined if factors related to the likelihood of financial ratio adequacy and financial well-being differ for Hispanic and non-Hispanic White households. Hispanics’ comprehensive financial well-being was assessed with three ratios: Liquidity, solvency, and investments/assets. Results of logistic regressions with 612 Hispanic and 4,481 non-Hispanic headed households show that FLC and HCT factors are associated with financial ratios differently between two race/ethnicity groups. For Hispanic households, age is positively related to adequate investment/assets ratio and financial well-being; education is positively related to adequate investment/assets but negatively related to adequate solvency. Implications for practitioners working with Hispanics are discussed.
- Go to article: Personal Emotions and Family Financial Well-Being: Applying the Broaden and Build Theory
The purpose of this article is to show that emotions matter when predicting the financial well-being of U.S. households. The broaden and build theory (BBT) was used to predict that positive emotions would be positively associated with financial well-being and negative emotions would be negatively associated with financial well-being. Using a convenience sample of 993 U.S. adults, emotions were found to explain the variation in family financial well-being, measured by income and net worth, of U.S. households beyond demographic variables. More specifically, feelings of contentment, love, anger, anxiety, and loneliness were found to be associated with financial well-being. Results suggest that policymakers, financial professionals, and academics should collect more data on the emotions of individuals to help explain the variation in the financial well-being of U.S. households. Results also provide evidence in support of the financial counseling industry’s efforts to incorporate emotions as an important variable when modeling family financial well-being.
The purpose of this study is to examine migration during retirement and its association with retirement satisfaction. Utilizing longitudinal data collected from the Health and Retirement Study, this study estimates a fixed-effects logit model to examine how changing U.S. Census divisions during retirement is related to retirement satisfaction. The findings suggest that a change in residential location during retirement is associated with an increase in retirement satisfaction. In planning for retirement, individuals should examine what will provide them with the highest level of satisfaction during their retirement and whether their current location can facilitate an enjoyable retirement. Financial planners and counselors should also consider, as a part of their systemic retirement planning process, increasing the attention that is given to the residential location in which their clients will reside during retirement.
This study examines the timing of financial education and its impact on short-term and long-term financial behavior. We also explore the power of financial education on financial knowledge and examine the link between financial knowledge and positive financial behavior. Exposure to financial education during multiple life stages leads to a better financial outcome. Financial education taught via multiple channels, including high school, college, the workplace, and at home, is the most optimal in the long run. For those who did not attend college, being exposed to financial education in high school is significantly associated with positive financial behavior. We cite implications for all financial education advocates. Policymakers in the financial capability arena can stay abreast of the channels of financial education that produce the most fruitful economic and societal gains.
Financial self-efficacy is associated with positive financial behaviors. This study investigated factors associated with financial self-efficacy among student loan borrowers based on original data collected through an online national survey of student loan borrowers between age 25 and 75. Results revealed that perceived student loan literacy prior to accruing higher education debt was significantly associated with current financial self-efficacy, while general financial literacy during repayment did not appear to be correlated with financial self-efficacy. This study draws on social cognitive theory to suggest that student loan literacy prior to accruing debt may act as a mastery experience, improving financial self-efficacy when the repayment period arrives. Given the increasing prevalence of student loans across all generations, this study underscores the need for early education and mentoring from financial professionals about student loan borrowing.
- Go to article: Family Communication, Resources, and Income in Adolescence and Financial Behaviors in Young Adulthood
Family Communication, Resources, and Income in Adolescence and Financial Behaviors in Young Adulthood
This research examined how parental communication and family resources provided during adolescence relate to domain-specific financial management behaviors for a sample of 1,245 young adults age 18–34. Using data collected by an online survey administration organization, bivariate analysis results indicated that higher levels of parental communication about proper consumer skills and tangible and intangible family resources were associated with better financial behaviors. Financial behaviors were also found to vary significantly across different levels of family income. Multivariate regression analyses revealed two noteworthy interactions in which intangible resources and financial behaviors varied by level of family income. Better financial behaviors in adulthood were associated with more intangible resources for middle- and upper-income families during adolescence. The reverse was indicated for young adults from lower income families. Control variables of education level, employment status, and gender also showed significance with financial behaviors.
- Go to article: Financial Self-Efficacy: Mediating the Association Between Self-Regulation and Financial Management Behaviors
Financial Self-Efficacy: Mediating the Association Between Self-Regulation and Financial Management Behaviors
Both self-efficacy and self-regulation have been connected to financial behaviors and financial outcomes of households; however, their associations have been studied independently. This study examined the association between general self-regulation (i.e., mindfulness practice, self-care behaviors, and conflict management) and financial management behavior, mediated by financial self-efficacy. Data was gathered from 693 individuals in couple relationships residing in the Southeastern United States of America who participated in a Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education training program. Analyses of data showed that general self-regulation and financial self-efficacy were positively associated with financial management behaviors and that general self-regulation was indirectly associated with financial management behaviors through financial self-efficacy. Implications of this study suggest that by coupling financial education, counseling, and coaching interventions with broad-based self-regulation programming, such as mindfulness or relationship training, clients will realize more significant improvements in financial management behaviors.
Whereas problematic finances can undermine relationship satisfaction, a sense of shared financial values may bolster relationship satisfaction; thus, it is important to understand how to promote couples' shared financial values. In this study, we examined the association of individuals' perceptions regarding their own and their partners' positive financial behaviors on shared financial values. Using survey data from a young adult cohort of college graduates, participants of the Arizona Pathways to Life Success for University Students (APLUS) study, we found that participants' perceptions of their own positive financial behaviors, and their perceptions of the positive financial behaviors of their partners, were each associated with increased shared financial values. Results suggest that practitioners could help individuals recognize that improving their own financial behaviors and also appreciating their partner's positive financial behaviors contribute to couples' shared financial values.
This study investigated the role of financial education on a basic level of estate planning of U.S. households. Results from the 2018 National Financial Capability Study (NFCS) dataset showed that financial education is positively associated with one's basic estate planning, proxied by having a will. Multiple exposures to financial education over time had stronger positive associations with having a will. One notable finding was that those receiving financial education offered by an employer only or jointly by an employer and other sources (high school and/or college) were more likely to have a will. In addition, among those who received financial education, the number of hours and the overall quality were positively associated with the likelihood of having a will. Additional analyses from Propensity Score Matching (PSM) and similar regressions across generations reveal that results were robust. The results provide meaningful insights for financial educators and practitioners.
- Go to article: Guest Editor's Introduction to the Special Issue on Financial Counseling, Coaching, and Education: Linking Research to Practice
The decision to attend college is a question of human capital investment, yet resources to help practitioners frame human capital investment decisions remain elusive and few include the “gold standard” of finance: net present value (NPV). Can one discuss human capital investment with an average adolescent using a traditional NPV approach? Motivated by this question, we presented 10 barriers to maximizing education–career NPV (e.g., clarity of costs, immature adolescent brains, individual discount rates). We outline an iterative, research-based approach to education–career investment, including framing the conversation, calculating paired NPVs, and structuring the decision. This multistep framework leverages practitioner expertise to help adolescents consider important lifelong financial wellness implications of human capital investment.
- Go to article: Can Workplace Financial Counseling Help Lower-Income Workers Improve Credit Outcomes?
Financial counseling has been found to be effective in improving consumers' credit outcomes and could be expanded through the workplace to reach lower-income workers who struggle with various financial challenges. We examine engagement and credit outcomes associated with a workplace financial counseling program offered to 2,849 frontline workers in New York City. Age and credit scores helped explain variation in types of engagement in services. Credit outcomes were modest on average, but greater among workers who received three or more counseling sessions, had low and no baseline credit scores, and reduced the number of delinquent and collections accounts on their credit reports. Workplace financial counseling is a promising strategy to proactively promote credit outcomes among frontline workers, though counselors should be flexible in offering services and help workers access affordable credit products available to those with subprime credit scores and increase financial slack to lessen dependence on credit.
- Go to article: Workplace Financial Education and Change in Financial Knowledge: A Quasi-Experimental Approach
This exploratory study employed quasi-experimental research methods to investigate the relationship between adult participation in a comprehensive workplace financial education program and changes in financial knowledge levels. Results revealed a positive association between participation in the education program and changes in financial knowledge levels, even when controlling for demographic and socioeconomic differences between the participant and non-participant groups. However, results did not support an association between perfect attendance in the program and changes in financial knowledge. Evidence from this study provides meaningful insight into the association between adult financial education and financial knowledge and offers guidance for the future development of effective comprehensive workplace financial education programs.
- Go to article: Meeting People Where They're at: A Systematic Review of Financial Counseling for Indigenous Peoples
Since 1990, financial counseling, literacy, and capability services have emerged in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United States (CANZUS nations) as practice-based approaches to support the economic participation and financial resilience of Indigenous peoples. This systematic scoping review of the published and grey literature explored how these programs have evolved and whether such approaches are effective. The review found an emerging movement toward Indigenous-specific practice, reflecting the growth of Indigenous voices in financial counseling practice and highlighting the critical case for embedding Indigenous knowledge and practices into program design and delivery. However, there was little evidence in this emerging field regarding the quality or impact of program delivery. A theoretical framework is needed to guide further research.
Financial coaching is an emerging strategy to help people enhance financial capability and well-being. However, few studies of coaching practices have been completed. A survey of 273 coaches in the United States provides insight into current coaching practice. The average coach in the survey served 19 clients per month and saw each client about four times. The range of coaches varied widely; many coaches operated at a relatively small scale, often embedded in social service programs. Coaches generally reported coaching had positive impacts on clients, especially coaches with more training and those who served more clients. Overall, this study shows the financial coaching field includes an array of approaches but may benefit from capacity building and adoption of standards of practice.
When it comes to money, clients often know what they should do, but they do not always do it. The purpose of this study was twofold: (a) to introduce a new scale to measure financial cognition and (b) to explore the link between thinking (i.e., covert behavior) and financial behavior (i.e., overt behavior). Social Cognitive Theory and Cognitive Behavioral Theory framed the study. Data were collected in two stages from 236 employees in a Midwestern region. Stage one results suggest a newly developed measure, the Financial Cognition Scale, shows acceptable reliability, and construct validity. Stage two found positive associations between the covert behaviors of financial cognition, financial knowledge, and financial self-efficacy and the overt behavior of financial behavior, and a negative association between financial anxiety and financial behavior. Implications for practitioners and researchers are presented.
- Go to article: Impact of the FutureSmart Online Financial Education Course on Financial Knowledge of Middle School Students
Impact of the FutureSmart Online Financial Education Course on Financial Knowledge of Middle School Students
The increasing role of schools in promoting financial literacy underscores the need to investigate the effectiveness of school-based financial education programs. This study examined FutureSmart—a free, co-curricular, online financial education course—using a quasi-experimental design with a diverse sample of middle school students nationwide. The study assessed the impact of the course on students' financial knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors, and explored the association of program implementation factors with changes in student outcomes. Financial knowledge gains were significant, substantial, and consistent across student subgroups and implementation factors for FutureSmart participants. Gains in financial attitudes and behaviors—specifically, financial confidence, engagement with parents about financial issues, current engagement with financial products, and intended future engagement with financial products—were not significant. The fundamental implication of this research is that FutureSmart effectively conveys financial knowledge to middle school students, contributing to a foundation for their future financial well-being.
- Go to article: Retirement Income Sources and Subjective Financial Well-Being: A Comparison of Retirees and Non-Retirees
Retirement Income Sources and Subjective Financial Well-Being: A Comparison of Retirees and Non-Retirees
This study examined whether retirement income sources matter for the subjective financial well-being of retirees and the subjective retirement savings adequacy of non-retirees. Using nationally representative data from the 2017 Survey of Household Economics and Decisionmaking, the study found that while income from a defined benefit (DB) plan, defined contribution (DC) plan, and an individual retirement account (IRA) were positively related to the subjective financial well-being of retirees, income from employment and family were negatively related to their subjective financial well-being. Also, retirement preparation with a DB, DC, and IRA was positively related to subjective retirement savings adequacy for non-retirees. The moderating role of age in the relationship between the form of retirement savings for non-retirees and their subjective retirement savings adequacy was significant. Because of the growing importance of individual responsibility for retirement planning, the present study adds to the financial planning knowledge of financial practitioners, educators, and researchers.
- Go to article: Financial Planning for Retirement: Bibliometric Analysis and Future Research Directions
This study aims to determine the status of existing research on financial planning for retirement. We used bibliometric analysis and content analysis to examine a sample of 1,116 studies conducted over a span of more than five decades. Bibliographic coupling network was developed to determine the intellectual themes in the field. Our findings suggest that the structural, economic, and cultural disparities worldwide lead to distinct pressures for savings on individuals. Further studies should be conducted considering emerging economies and the aforementioned disparities to gain deeper insights. While a few studies have examined the influence of social biases, behavioral biases, personality traits, and psychological constructs on financial literacy and the impact of this interaction on financial planning for retirement. We conclude by suggesting potential future research directions.
The study examines whether an external locus of control (LOC) moderates the association between financial constraints and emotional exhaustion related to one's financial situation. The participants for this study were 821 U.S. adults aged 20 and older who completed an online survey in September 2019. Results revealed that the association between financial constraints and emotional exhaustion was moderated by an external LOC. Although individuals with a high external LOC were found to perceive more emotional exhaustion, the positive association between financial constraints and emotional exhaustion was stronger for those with a low external LOC than those with a high external LOC. Findings identify the LOC as an important phenomenon of inquiry on emotional exhaustion related to one's financial situation. Findings suggest that an external LOC may serve as a potential point of intervention. Our findings could be used by practitioners to identify populations at greater risk for the experience of emotional exhaustion related to one's financial situation.
- Go to article: Behavior Change for Low-Income Individuals Resulting From a Cooperative Extension Financial Capability Program
Behavior Change for Low-Income Individuals Resulting From a Cooperative Extension Financial Capability Program
An evaluation was implemented over a 3-year period to assess a statewide financial capability program for low-income, diverse clientele in Michigan. Pre- and post- program evaluation data was used to determine knowledge gain and intended behavior change. Follow-up evaluation data confirmed behavior changes across 10 financial practices. Using the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change, research findings revealed participants were better able to maintain change in key financial practices including making wise money decisions, creating a spending plan, and managing debt as a result of the educational program. Recommendations are provided to support future programs with similar clientele.
- Go to article: Factors Mediating the Association Between Financial Socialization and Well-Being of Young Adults: Testing a Conceptual Framework
Factors Mediating the Association Between Financial Socialization and Well-Being of Young Adults: Testing a Conceptual Framework
This study establishes an integrated conceptual framework to examine the influences of financial socialization on young adults' financial and subjective well-being. Using the National Financial Well-Being Survey and structural equation modeling methods with a national sample of young adults aged 18–35, this study highlights two key potential influences of financial socialization: (a) early financial socialization experience is directly and positively associated with young adults' financial knowledge and financial motivations (goal-oriented financial planning and self-control ability) and (b) there are indirect and positive associations between financial socialization and young adults' perceived financial skill, financial behavior, and financial and subjective well-being. Moreover, perceived financial skill significantly mediates the relationship between financial motivations and financial management behavior and could indirectly influence financial and subjective well-being. Finally, this study also finds positive associations among financial management behavior, financial well-being, and subjective well-being of young adults.
Self-leadership examines how individuals can motivate themselves through behavior focused strategies, constructive thought patterns, and natural reward strategies. This study examined the potential influence of self-leadership on financial self-efficacy, credit card debt, and student loan debt among college students. Data were collected from a survey of 197 graduate and undergraduate students at a major Midwestern university. The findings suggest students higher in self-leadership tend to have lower student loan debt. Additionally, financial self-efficacy and credit card debt mediate the relationship between self-leadership and student loan debt. The results have implications for the role self-leadership plays in credit card debt, financial self-efficacy, and student loan debt.
We examined the relationship between holding a student loan and financial satisfaction and financial education's moderating role using the 2015 National Financial Capability Study dataset. Households with a student loan had lower levels of financial satisfaction than those without one. We found a moderating role of receiving both formal and informal financial education on the relationship between a student loan and financial satisfaction, regardless of for whom the loans were taken. Our findings confirm the importance of financial education and suggest that receiving a thorough combination of formal and informal education will improve student loan holders' financial satisfaction.
This study examines the degree to which the customer risk profiling measure (CRPM), commonly used by financial institutions to determine loss tolerance of investors, is psychometrically valid in assessing risk tolerance and predicting anxiety after experiencing a significant investment loss. Data were collected online from 91 respondents with various investment experience. Results suggest that CRPM is significantly correlated with the Grable and Lytton's Financial Risk Tolerance Scale (G/L-RTS), a validated financial risk tolerance measure. CRPM is also able to predict anxiety after experiencing a significant investment loss. Furthermore, CRPM also demonstrates incremental predictive validity above and beyond G/L-RTS in predicting anxiety after investment loss.
This article investigates the credit card debt puzzle. Simultaneously holding credit card debt and liquid assets is puzzling given the sizeable difference between interest rates of debt and assets. However, this behavior is common—about 31% of households in the 2016 Survey of Consumer Finances. The cost of co-holding may be justified if consumers anticipate future restrictions in credit or if they need to maintain liquidity. Other existing explanations for co-holding include impulsive spending and low financial literacy. This research reveals a new explanation for the credit card debt puzzle: consumers' overconfidence of their financial knowledge. Using a Coarsened Exact Matching method, we found that overconfident consumers were 20%–40% more likely to co-hold credit card debt and liquid assets.
- Go to article: Financial Risk Tolerance Before and After a Stock Market Shock: Testing the Recency Bias Hypothesis
Is there an association between a household financial decision maker's risk tolerance and the performance of the stock market? Some researchers argue that financial market events have little association with the financial risk tolerance (FRT) of household financial decision makers, while others argue that FRT among individuals can vary in relation to significant market fluctuations. The applicability of either argument may depend on the length of the period before and after a major market event. The purpose of this study was to evaluate aggregate changes in FRT around a major stock market event for different anchor time periods and to test the recency bias hypothesis. The analyses were designed to explore the FRT of Americans during a volatile multimonth period of stock market performance in 2018–2019. Several univariate, bivariate, and multivariate tests were used to compare FRT assessment scores pre- and post-October 3rd, 2018 (i.e., the market high in 2018). A decrease in FRT from the market high was noted across the sample; however, the decrease was exhibited most acutely by younger, nonmarried respondents with few investable assets. A noteworthy finding from this study is that financial counselors and financial planners likely serve a “buffering” role when household financial decision makers experience stock market shocks.
- Go to article: Exploring Relationships Between Technology Use and Time Spent in the Financial Planning Process
Using a nationwide online survey capturing detailed information on the backgrounds and practices of 654 financial planners, this study examines the associations between the use of technologies by financial planners and self-reported time spent within various stages of the six-step financial planning process. Surprisingly, in many cases, use of technology is associated with an increase rather than a decrease in time spent within various stages of the financial planning process. These results suggest that although technologies may provide efficiencies in completing certain tasks, these efficiencies do not necessarily result in net reductions in time spent within the financial planning process.
The purpose of this study is to examine the debt burdens, perceived capabilities, and mental health of young adults. Panel data constructed from the 2009 to 2013 waves of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) and its Transition to Adulthood (TA) supplement are used in this study. The multinomial logistic regression analysis findings showed that the amount of revolving debt was negatively associated with young adults' mental health. On the other hand, perceived abilities in acting responsibly, in solving problems, and in managing money were positively associated with the mental health of young adults. The fixed effects regression analysis results indicate that the amounts of credit card and student loan debt from the previous period were negatively associated with an increase in the mental health continuum scores of young adults over time. A discussion of the implications of this study's key findings for scholars, policymakers, and practitioners is included.
- Go to article: Financial Literacy Types and Financial Behaviors Among Adolescents: Role of Financial Education
The mismatch between financial objective and subjective knowledge that occurs in youth and adolescents has been understudied in the literature. Based on objective and subjective financial literacy scores, this study categorizes financial literacy into four types: financial literacy overconfidence, underconfidence, competence, and naïvete in a sample of adolescents. Data were collected from 330 students aged around 15 years old in six middle schools in Hong Kong. The results indicate that adolescents who are overconfident about their financial literacy are more likely to engage in risky financial behavior and report higher levels of financial autonomy. A randomized experimental trial was conducted to assess whether financial education could change the mismatch between financial objective and subjective knowledge. The results show a significant increase in underconfidence after the financial education intervention, but no significant change in the other three categories. The findings highlight the same type of financial literacy overconfidence in both adolescents and adults and has implications for financial counselors and educators who would improve the financial engagement of adolescents.
- Go to article: Decomposition of the Financial Capability Construct: A Structural Model of Debt Knowledge, Skills, Confidence, Attitudes, and Behavior
Decomposition of the Financial Capability Construct: A Structural Model of Debt Knowledge, Skills, Confidence, Attitudes, and Behavior
Based on a nationally representative sample of adult Poles (N = 1,004), we examined structural relationships between financial knowledge, skills, confidence, attitudes, and behavior in debt-domain. We found that financial confidence—at least regarding debt-related issues—is tied to debt attitudes and behavior beyond the extent to which the attitudes and behaviors are linked to objective debt knowledge. Moreover, the relationship between objective knowledge and confidence turned out to be insignificant in our study. These findings suggest that confidence should be used as a separate marker of financial capability. Having established that skills correlate with behavior and attitudes differently than objective knowledge, we argue also to include them separately in financial capability measurements.
- Go to article: The Risk Tolerance Measure in the 2016 Survey of Consumer Finances: New, But Is It Improved?
The Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) has included a 4-level risk tolerance measure since 1983. In 2016, the SCF also included an 11-level risk tolerance measure. We compare the two measures, and develop suggestions for using the new measure. While the new measure is seemingly simpler than the old measure, we demonstrate that it does not have a monotonic relationship with owning stock assets, with a pattern similar to the relationship of the old measure to stock ownership. We also identify complex patterns of factors related to different levels of the new measure, for instance education has a negative relationship at one level but positive at another level. Those using the new measure should consider the complex patterns we demonstrate.
- Go to article: Parental Financial Socialization, Financial Experiences, and Financial Behaviors: Comparing Asian American and International Asian College Students
Parental Financial Socialization, Financial Experiences, and Financial Behaviors: Comparing Asian American and International Asian College Students
Paying for college expenses can be stressful for anyone, regardless of citizenship status. Asian American students and their parents may be negotiating with each other who will shoulder these expenses, while international Asian students often enter this country with their parents' financial support already established. This is the first study to specifically examine a large sample of Asian college students (n = 671) and explore how parents influence Asian students' financial attitudes, knowledge, and behaviors through a family financial socialization theoretical lens. Results show that financial socialization is positively associated with financial behaviors for all Asian college students. Findings are informative for college counselors, financial advisors, educators, and clinicians who work with Asian students and their parents.
There are numerous factors associated with successful reentry, but one that has not yet been addressed is financial behavior after release. This study used a primary data set collected in the fall of 2017. The theory of planned behavior was applied to investigate post-release financial behavioral intentions of men and women approaching return to society via a work release program in Georgia. Support for the theory of planned behavior was identified; attitude, subjective norms, and perceptions of behavioral control are significant predictors of financial intentions for this sample. Length of incarceration was the most important aspect of incarceration history. Innovative use of a control variable indicated that socially desirable response patterns about key variables were not confounding. This research is valuable to practitioners and policy makers in that it provides insight into planned financial behaviors that could affect the success of the individual's reentry back into society, and it fortifies prior evidence that the theory of planned behavior is a useful analytical framework.
- Go to article: Couple Perceptions as Mediators Between Family Economic Strain and Marital Quality: Evidence From Longitudinal Dyadic Data
Couple Perceptions as Mediators Between Family Economic Strain and Marital Quality: Evidence From Longitudinal Dyadic Data
The deleterious nature of U.S. economic recessions over the last several decades highlight a need to investigate the role of family economic strain on families. The current study explored the impact of family economic strain on marital quality and marital stability through dyadic associations of marital support and work–family conflict of 370 married couples over a 12-year period (1989–2001) through an actor–partner interdependence model, encompassing two major U.S. recessions. Guided by family stress and coping theory, findings are consistent with past research indicating the negative impact of family economic strain on marital quality and marital stability; however, this impact may be mitigated through the mediation of positive perceptions of marital support and work–family conflict. Implications suggest financial counselors should consider the lasting influence of economic strain on families, and how the psychosocial resources of martial support and managing work–family conflict may promote relationship quality and stability.
This study develops a conceptual framework to investigate the relationship between households' information search behavior and financial management outcomes. Consumers' information search behavior is examined from both internal and external perspectives. The internal information sources include human capital and psychological and attitudinal factors, whereas the external information sources comprise financial professionals from different financial service areas. Financial management behaviors examined in this study consist of consumers' savings and credit-using behavior. This study uses the 2012 National Financial Capability Study and structural equation modeling methodology. The results suggest that (a) both internal and external information sources used by consumers are significantly associated with savings and credit-using behavior, and (b) seeking external financial advice from professionals mediates the relationship between consumers' internal sources and financial management outcomes. The findings of this study provide practical implications for financial professionals when counseling and communicating with clients and challenge policymakers to develop pathways that can enhance the quality and accessibility of internal and external information sources for clients, including customized financial education programs and affordable professional financial services.
Why do people give away their money? Charitable giving has traditionally been modeled using socioeconomic (i.e., age, income, education) and psychographic variables (i.e., self-esteem, guilt, pity). However, given that charitable giving is, inherently, a financial activity, would financial variables with a psychographic element (i.e., financial attitudinal variables) have the ability to improve the prediction of giving behavior? Using the 2016 Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF), we found that higher risk tolerance, higher subjective financial knowledge, longer financial time horizon, and access to emergency funds from friends/relatives all were positively associated with charitable giving. The results of this study help broaden the potential information set for financial counselors, marketers, nonprofit organizations, or policymakers when understanding a client's intention to charitably give and identifying potential donors beyond traditional socioeconomic and psychographic variables.
- Go to article: Factors Associated With the Ownership of Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs): Applying the Theory of Planned Behavior
Factors Associated With the Ownership of Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs): Applying the Theory of Planned Behavior
Despite the importance of retirement savings, many individuals retire with lack of adequate retirement savings. While calculating retirement savings needs was found to enhance retirement savings, little is known about what underlies this enhancement. Applying the theory of planned behavior (TPB), we developed a model in which psychological factors influence the calculation of retirement savings needs, which in turn influences the ownership of individual retirement accounts. Path analysis was used to test our model with data from the 2015 National Financial Capability Study. The results showed that favorable attitudes, strong social norms, and perceived behavioral control are associated with calculating retirement savings needs. Also, calculating retirement savings needs as well as perceived behavioral control and having an employer-based retirement plan, in turn, contributed to the prediction of individual retirement account ownership. Our results suggest it is important to understand he psychological factors behind calculating retirement savings needs and to make it easy for individuals to calculate those needs.
Most private sector employees have access to defined contribution retirement plans while public sector employees often may choose defined benefit or defined contribution plans. This research utilized a survey of faculty to analyze retirement plan satisfaction. Advice from a financial planner was positively associated with satisfaction with portability. Retirement plan knowledge was negatively associated with satisfaction with the decision period. Selection of a defined benefit plan was positively related to four aspects of satisfaction and negatively related to regret. Financial planners assisting individuals who face such choices should acknowledge the decision's challenges and evaluate the client's level of retirement planning knowledge. Focusing on long-term goals and the client's investment and mobility risk tolerance may be helpful, especially after market corrections.
- Go to article: Financial Risk Tolerance, Sensation Seeking, and Locus of Control Among Pre-Retiree Baby Boomers
Financial risk tolerance is an important personal characteristic that is widely used by financial professionals to guide the development and presentation of client-centered recommendations. As more baby boomers enter retirement, research on how these individuals perceive their willingness to take financial risks has gained importance, particularly as the focus of investment portfolios changes from capital accumulation to capital preservation in retirement. This study examined the role of sensation seeking and locus of control on financial risk tolerance for a pre-retiree baby boomer sample using the 2014 wave of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979. Findings from three ordinary least square (OLS) regression models showed that baby boomers who were not sensation seekers, and those who displayed an external locus of control orientation were more likely to exhibit a low tolerance for financial risk. Furthermore, those who engaged in sensation-seeking behavior were more likely to have an internal locus of control orientation and a high tolerance for risk.
- Go to article: Navigating Risky Higher Education Investments: Implications for Practitioners and Consumers
This exploratory study examines academic and labor market risks associated with investments in higher education by synthesizing the literature regarding risky higher education choices and extending the research using the 2014 National Student Financial Wellness Study, a national sample of college students. Three phenomena are analyzed to support the notion that individuals may be making suboptimal human capital investment decisions: (a) cost–benefit errors; (b) unclear educational goals; and (c) increasing time-to-degree. The study examines which students are more likely to report that the cost of college did not influence their choice, that tuition is not a good investment, or that they expect to take additional time to complete their degree. Opportunities for practitioners to help clients navigate higher education investment decisions and opportunities for future research are discussed.
- Go to article: For Love or Money? Factors Associated With the Choice Between Couple-Based Versus Individual Financial Coaching
For Love or Money? Factors Associated With the Choice Between Couple-Based Versus Individual Financial Coaching
There has been much effort in recent years to address some of the damage of the recent global financial crisis with financial literacy education. Little research has been done, however, on the factors that might affect the decision to seek individual versus couples-based financial education. We used a survey instrument administered via the online labor market, Mechanical Turk, to examine factors associated with this outcome: whether members of a couple would choose individual or couples financial coaching. All participants were screened for current membership in a committed relationship for at least 6 months. Most participants reported a preference for couples versus individual financial counseling. Key factors that predicted a likelihood to opt for couples' counseling include gender, age, and satisfaction with one's relationship. Results from this study suggest that how and why consumers seek financial education may be affected by social, cultural, emotional, and relational factors as well as financial concerns. Such factors should be considered by practitioners in this field if program marketing, design, and delivery are to be relevant to participants and effective.
We surveyed high school students in Southern California to investigate whether there is an improvement in financial attitudes from eight class periods of financial literacy intervention in a high school economics course. We examine whether the money management (MM) and financial investing (FI) components of financial instruction influence attitudes differently and whether they each influence attitudes beyond a standard economics course. We find that the MM treatment influences being thrifty and delaying gratification. Both treatments increase risk-taking behavior, with neither treatment being more important than the other. Within the confines of our experiment, exposure to economics per se did not influence any of the financial attitudes, pointing to the need for financial education to inculcate healthy financial attitudes in high school children.
In 2017, more than one million children became identity theft victims. Many perpetrators of child identity theft are parents, but there are limited data on these perpetrators. The purpose of this study was to understand parental perpetrators of child identity theft through the experiences of victims. Using a phenomenological approach, six adult victims of child identity theft engaged in in-depth interviews. Findings revealed perpetrators were perceived to lack guilt, be manipulative of their victim, and concerned about their public image. Victims often utilized a credit report to understand the scope of the identity theft and begin recovery. Federal agencies and creditors were contacted by victims as part of the recovery process, but were perceived as unhelpful. Implications for financial counseling and education are discussed, including the ethical boundaries of financial counselors and educators when working with victims who experience significant mental and/or physical health challenges as a result of the victimization.
- Go to article: A Randomized Controlled Trial to Evaluate Interventions Designed to Improve University Students' Subjective Financial Wellness in the United Kingdom
A Randomized Controlled Trial to Evaluate Interventions Designed to Improve University Students' Subjective Financial Wellness in the United Kingdom
This article describes a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness of intervention tools designed to help people save more or spend less money by enhancing their capabilities, motivations, and opportunities. The participants included 177 students from an English University who were randomly allocated to either the Control, Savings-Tool, or Savings+Habit-Tools group. Participants provided with the intervention tool(s) for 4 weeks were more likely to experience improvements in both their financial satisfaction and subjective perceptions than those in the Control group not asked to use either tool. The tools did not significantly affect financial behaviors or objective financial wellness. The discussion examines limitations of the study and discusses avenues for future research such as including a longer follow-up period.