failing the investor quiz

Allen Wastler expressed his disappointment in the American people for not knowing more about investing, asking, “Should the average American control his or her retirement?”

I took the investor quiz that Wastler referred to planning to score well and prove him wrong, but instead proved him right. I got a 56% (10/18).

The article assumes that the questions in the test can adequately measure what people need to know to be successful investors, and that may be false, but the fact still remains that many people (myself included) don’t know much about investing.

It’s especially alarming when you consider the projections that Social Security funds will be in deficit when baby boomers begin reaching retirement. If the course continues unchanged, it appears that as far as retirement money is concerned, the younger generation will be left to their own devices.


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  1. I got a 67%. I don’t think those questions are an accurate reflection of the knowledge one ought to have to invest for retirement. A lot of the questions are probably irrelevant to your average retirement investor (you don’t need to know what a ‘junk bond’ is, precicely, to know that they’re probably risky), and there were a lot of relevant things missing, like anything about different IRAs. Many of them are of different severity, as well. Someone who thinks that the government will insure them against stock market losses is far, far worse off than someone who doesn’t know the tax code number for college investments!

    Comment by Levi on January 28, 2004 @ 1:21 pm
  2. I got 94%, but then I did take a ton of finance classes in college.

    Comment by Mel on January 28, 2004 @ 1:22 pm
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  4. I got 72%, which isn’t bad, considering I’ve never had a finance class. I think I’m in good shape.

    Comment by Cameron on January 28, 2004 @ 4:01 pm
  5. I’m pretty disappointed by my 61%.

    Comment by Jan on January 29, 2004 @ 5:26 am

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