The Pulse

Where Do Americans Turn For Advice On Handling Their Money?

Most people can’t pass a financial literacy test & have no professionals to consult for financial guidance

Survey conducted by the National Financial Educators Council focuses on the importance of gaining access to financial guidance as early in life as possible, so as to learn all you can to invest your money intelligently and successfully.

LAS VEGAS, Oct. 6, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Where do Americans turn when they need advice about handling their money? That was the question the National Financial Educators Council (NFEC) asked in a recent survey of 1,251 people around the US. Survey respondents were asked a single question: “When you have a financial question, who do you personally turn to for trusted financial guidance?”



  • 39.6% of the respondents turned to parents, family, friends, or coworkers.
  • 35.9% said financial professionals.
  • 24.4% responded “I Don’t Have Anyone Trusted to Turn To”

Survey conducted between September 26th and October 1st. View full results and age breakdown of previous surveys at:

In a second study, 10,508 people participated in the NFEC’s advanced financial literacy test. The results showed that, on average, participants were able to answer slightly more than 57% of the questions correctly. Taken alongside the survey results, this test underscores how significant it is for people to have trusted financial guidance available when they need it.

View full test results at:

As Vince Shorb, CEO of the NFEC, commented, “It’s clear that people who don’t yet have money available to invest into real estate, insurance products, or equities lack access to qualified professionals to consult for financial guidance. It’s essential for people to gain access to guidance and solid information when they’re young, because the financial decisions they make as young adults will have direct impact on their financial futures.”

When people have access to professional advice for financial decision-making, they become informed about more options that line up with their short- and long-term goals. These survey results indicate that such access to professional guidance is largely lacking, especially among the younger age ranges.

It's clear that people who don't yet have money available to invest into real estate, insurance products, or equities lack access to qualified professionals to consult for financial guidance...

NFEC Research

The NFEC has embarked on a series of research studies to illuminate how and where people obtain guidance and support for key financial decisions. The results will inform the fine-tuning of the NFEC’s financial coaching training and materials, to help ensure access to individualized financial guidance and education for those people who need it most.

In a broader sense, NFEC research focuses on empirically demonstrating the best practices for financial wellness programs to share with others in the industry. The organization is diving deeply into the questions of how people make personal finance decisions, how their financial situations affect their lives, and their levels of capability to make informed choices that align with their personal objectives. Financial coaches and financial wellness professionals can apply these data to effectively promote clients to build their personal finance skill sets.

The National Financial Educators Council (NFEC) provides resources, advocacy, and research results to the financial education industry. A recognized thought leader, the NFEC sponsors think tanks and collects empirical data on financial literacy-related topics, with the central goal of discovering best practices to share with colleagues in the financial education arena.