Financial literacy at FinCon 2018

You'd expect everyone at a money conference to be financially literate, right? Our quiz reveals how true that actually is.

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At FinCon, you can expect to meet some of the most established names in the business, not to mention recent graduates there to soak in the knowledge while making connections.

But just how much do these finance professionals and up-and-comers know about the world of money? We put FinCon 2018 attendees to the test, offering up a quiz on financial literacy to those brave enough to take it.

Over the course of the conference, 100 personal finance pros answered six questions modeled after a five-question test created by Standard & Poor’s, Gallup, the World Bank and George Washington University. For the record, the original saw only 33% of respondents receive a passing grade.

How financially literate are you?

You’re able to take the quiz only once, so make sure your answer is on the money.

How financially literate are FinCon 2018 attendees?

Shockingly, our financial literacy quiz returned an average 57% — a failing grade for a sample size of so-called money nerds.

Here’s a breakdown of our questions, from highest to lowest pass percentage based on results.

Question 1: 95%

An impressive number of respondents sailed through the first question, which asked whether buying three bottles of shampoo for $18.90 is a better value than buying one for $6.99.

Few stumbled on calculating and comparing prices. Although some wondered who’d need so much shampoo — particularly more follicly challenged FinConners.

Question 4: 70%

Albert Einstein once said that compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He’d be far from impressed with the 30% of respondents who missed our second question on compounding.

We’ll give the FinConners a break: Nearly anybody would need a calculator to work out A = P (1 + r/n )^(nt).

Question 6: 63%

We heard heated disagreement as to whether lenders can charge you a penalty for paying off your personal loan early. Just under two-thirds knew it’s true.

Check out our list of lenders that don’t charge prepayment penalties.

Question 5: 59%

Real estate investments are a hot topic, and so it was interesting to see more than half of our respondents correctly identify the APR you could expect to pay on the price of a home: 2% to 5%.

Question 3: 33%

Another calculation that tripped up two-thirds of FinConners involved interest-only payments on an auto loan. Turns out not everyone knows how to calculate it.

Here’s how: Divide what you owe by 12 months and multiply that number by the interest rate.

Question 2: 24%

Finally, the trickiest question — perhaps exposing the biggest gap in FinConners’ financial literacy skills — was related to figuring out a rolling credit balance with a 12% APR. Too bad they didn’t think to rely on our credit card repayment calculator.

Why financial literacy matters

Obviously, it’s a small quiz that wouldn’t stand up in court if you were to accuse a poorly scored respondent of financial illiteracy. But by keeping on the ball, you’ll know the best possible options for when you’re caught in a dollar dilemma. is here to help you build your financial literacy, especially against ongoing innovations in the financial world.

Flip through our guides to find what interests you. And when looking to land the best deal for your next big — or small — financial decision, rely on our countless objective comparisons that can help you make a decision.

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