James Surowiecki writes that our financial illiteracy is a huge problem. As someone who didn't care to learn about money until much too late in life and who, by the by, still has much to learn, I couldn't agree more. I also think his call for a financial equivalent to driver's ed is spot on. From the article:
The depth of our financial ignorance is startling. In recent years, Annamaria Lusardi, an economist at Dartmouth and the head of the Financial Literacy Center, has conducted extensive studies of what Americans know about finance. It’s depressing work. Almost half of those surveyed couldn’t answer two questions about inflation and interest rates correctly, and slightly more sophisticated topics baffle a majority of people. Many people don’t know the terms of their mortgage or the interest rate they’re paying. And, at a time when we’re borrowing more than ever, most Americans can’t explain what compound interest is.