Study Reveals Americans Don't Understand Basic Investment and Financial Terminology

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This research study was conducted to determine the degree of confidence (or lack thereof) that the average American has in their own perception of the meanings of common investment and financial terms.

(NEW YORK) An ongoing study indicates Americans have little or no confidence in their own idea of what common financial and investment terms mean. Over 940 Americans participated in the study, which was conducted over a 15-month period.

Paul Spreadbury conducted the focus groups and online surveys. “We didn’t want persons who considered themselves to be heavy investors answering questions, but we did want people who were involved in some type of regular investment program. This is why we asked only 401k participants to participate in the survey.”

The findings of the research motivated Spreadbury and his partners to form “Before investing time, effort and money to develop the world’s first financial and investment terms translation service we wanted to see how serious or not the situation really was. This is why we decided to conduct 16 focus groups in four different cities and also offered online Investment Terms Confidence Tests to people participating in 401k plans,” Spreadbury explains.

“The results of the survey certainly support our premise but we still recommend that financial advisors, 401k Plan Sponsors and editors find out for themselves to what degree of investus illiterus affects their constituency. This is why we offer to set up and conduct a free Investment Terms Confidence test for any specific group of 401k Participants, readers or clients.”

A few of the findings of the study include:

·    76% have no confidence in their definition of the term Mutual Fund.

·    79% have no confidence in their definition of the term Global Growth Fund.

·    77% have no confidence in their definition of the term Index Fund

·    90% have no confidence in their definition of the term Minimum Required Distribution

·    43% never read the financial page of the paper

·    Only 15% read a financial publication (Forbes, Fortune, Wall St Journal, etc.)

Spreadbury goes on to describe the side effects of the condition. “People show little or no interest in their 401ks, mutual fund scandals, the behavior of certain investment bankers and Enron-like management techniques because the language used to describe their 401ks and these events simply doesn’t speak to them. One of the most disturbing findings of the study so far, in my opinion, is that 65% of these 401k Participants do not consider themselves to be involved in investing. Maybe someday someone will come up with a pill that will make people want to adopt the language of Wall Street into their everyday lives. Until then, whenever money talks, we’ll be here to translate.”

Media, companies or organizations interested in receiving a summary of the Investment Terms Confidence Test or in having one conducted at no charge for their organization, newspaper or 401k Plan participants can contact Paul Spreadbury at 850 475 0477 or by email at

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