These States Have the Biggest Financial Literacy Problems

Many parts of the U.S. lag on financial literacy.

Jun 8, 2014 at 1:13PM

The issue of widespread financial illiteracy -- not just in this country, but around the world -- has rightfully garnered significant attention in the aftermath of the Great Recession. The housing market collapse and ensuing financial crisis served as a stark reminder of our societal obsession with debt as well as the dangers of fingertip financial access in the hands of consumers who are marked by a hope-for-the-best, figure-it-out-later attitude and an obvious lack of financial aptitude. But how much did we really learn, and what are we doing to help future generations avoid repeating our mistakes?

Not enough, it would seem. We've collectively racked up more than $73 billion in new credit card debt since the beginning of 2012, and it's little surprise given that only two in five adults actually have a budget. There's really no shortage of statistics that one can quote to illustrate our money management shortcomings -- from the 19% of Americans who spend more than they make to the 60% of folks who don't have a rainy day fund.

Where are the problems most and least pronounced, and which areas of the country are taking the necessary measures to foster a financially prosperous future? That's what WalletHub sought to discover by analyzing financial education programs and consumer habits in each of the 50 states as well as the District of Columbia, using 12 key metrics ranging from Champlain University's High School Financial Literacy Grades to the percentage of residents with a rainy day fund. More information about our methodology, as well a complete breakdown of our findings and expert commentary, can be found here.

Source: WalletHub.

Overall Rank

State Name

Knowledge and Education Sub-Rank

Planning and Daily Habits Sub-Rank

1 New Hampshire 1 1
2 Utah 3 8
3 Virginia 3 19
4 New Jersey 7 9
5 Minnesota 6 10
6 South Dakota 5 11
7 North Dakota 14 3
8 Maryland 11 4
9 Idaho 2 30
10 Massachusetts 24 2
11 Pennsylvania 19 6
12 Illinois 16 12
13 Wisconsin 13 16
14 Nebraska 18 13
T-15 Colorado 9 21
T-15 Iowa 20 13
17 Maine 34 5
18 New York 22 18
19 Montana 23 20
20 Vermont 12 27
21 Washington 29 16
22 California 42 7
23 Florida 31 15
24 South Carolina 26 28
25 Indiana 27 29
26 Oregon 28 25
27 Kansas 8 47
28 Hawaii 39 22
29 West Virginia 36 23
30 District of Columbia 30 33
31 Wyoming 35 26
32 Missouri 10 44
33 Tennessee 15 42
34 Ohio 33 31
35 Connecticut 37 32
36 Georgia 17 43
37 North Carolina 32 36
38 Delaware 47 24
39 Texas 21 45
40 Oklahoma 25 46
41 Alaska 45 34
42 Michigan 46 35
43 Arizona 38 41
44 Kentucky 44 38
45 Alabama 43 39
46 Rhode Island 48 40
47 New Mexico 49 37
48 Louisiana 40 49
49 Nevada 41 50
50 Arkansas 50 48
51 Mississippi 51 51

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4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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