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Financial Advertising Increasing as Financial Literacy Declines Thumbnail

Financial Advertising Increasing as Financial Literacy Declines

Companies spend more than $14 billion in financial services advertising each year.  With advertising increasing across multiple industries and platforms, marketers promote viral financial acronyms and trendy rules-of-thumb to compete for your attention.  While the avalanche of financial content may raise awareness of products and services, there is little evidence it truly helps to increase financial literacy or improve individual outcomes.

It doesn't take long to come across an article with financial advice while scrolling through your news or social media feed.  You have probably read more than one post about a trick that will allow you to retire early in an island paradise.  Although we are bombarded with financial "education," financial literacy has declined, according to FINRA. Only 34 percent of respondents could answer at least four of five basic financial literacy questions on topics such as mortgages, interest rates, inflation and risk — compared to 42 percent in 2009. This drop in scores appeared most pronounced among younger Americans ages 18 – 34.

More than half of Americans (54 percent) have not tried to determine what they need to save for retirement, and only 58% of Americans have a retirement account, based on the survey.  Moreover, Americans are stressed about money. More than half (53 percent) of those surveyed reported that just thinking about their finances makes them feel anxious.  Chances are, procrastination will not alleviate the anxiety. 

High investment minimums, fears from the great recession, increasing debt burdens, and confusion caused by financial marketing has created significant barriers for new investors.  These factors have kept many individuals from seeking professional advice and taking steps for their future, which could have long-lasting consequences for lifetime wealth accumulation. 

Unfortunately, generic advice often fails because it is difficult to apply to unique situations (and who wants to label themselves as generic?). Although acronyms and rules-of-thumb may point you in the right direction, implementing a plan requires a more personalized approach. 

By focusing on your unique situation and your future goals, we aim to bring clarity to your financial life. We will work with you to organize your accounts, create a personalized budget, develop goals for the future, and provide advice that fits you...not the other way around.

All investments carry some level of risk, including loss of principal.

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