Jul 20, 2016

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks To Gary Mottola About The State of Financial Capability in the U.S.

Gary Mottola

The FINRA Investors Education Foundation is out with the results of their 2015 National Financial Capability Study and who better to discuss the results than Gary Mottola, the head of research at the foundation. In this podcast, Gary supplies key insights from this comprehensive study including details on how millenials (and others) are managing their budgets, checking accounts, credit cards and student loan balances. He describes the quiz questions (test your knowledge here) from the study, including the question that survey participants had the most difficulty answering. Finally, he shares some surprising results about the prevalence of formal financial education programs and the impact of parental (or guardian) influences on financial knowledge. Enjoy!


  • 0:00~1:09 – Introduction
  • 1:09~1:34 – Gary’s day job as head of research at FINRA Investors Education Foundation
  • 1:34~4:29 – State of financial capability in the United States
  • 4:29~6:33 – How well are Americans making ends meet?
  • 6:33~9:35 – How are millennials managing their checking accounts?
  • 9:35~12:04 – What is financial fragility and what are the current trends?
  • 12:04~17:20 – Are young people budgeting?
  • 17:20~18:51 – How do payment methods differ between generations?
  • 18:51~20:04 – Why are many millenials using prepaid debit cards?
  • 20:04~23:17 – What are examples of expensive credit card behaviors?
  • 23:17~25:58 – Any signs of stress with student loan balances?
  • 25:28~26:29 – A word from our sponsor, Next Gen Personal Finance
  • 26:29~28:58 – How are millenials investing?
  • 28:58~36:45 – Financial literacy quiz questions
  • 36:45~40:08 -How does selecting credit cards show financial decision making skill?
  • 40:08~44:09 – Trends in financial education
  • 44:09~46:11 – Resources available from FINRA Investor Education Foundation
  • 46:11~49:19  – What changes do you anticipate for the 2018 Study?
  • 49:19~50:27 – Conclusion
  • “Millennials are much more likely to be offered financial education than the other generations… There seems to be a trend to offering financial education, but still if you realize only the third of the population has been offered it, the need far exceeds the supply”
  • “People are definitely interested in financial education, but it’s difficult.  There’s a lot of pressure on schools and teachers to teach a number of different topics and trying to get financial education to the curriculum is tough”

About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.

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