The vast majority of US millennials wish that they had learned more about the stock market and other financial matters in high school, and they say that the education system failed to prepare them for real-world challenges related to personal finance.
Currently, high schools teach students subjects like algebra, geometry, and chemistry to try to hone their problem-solving skills. The education system seems to believe STEM subjects help teenagers understand how the world works, without really preparing them for modern challenges.
A Nitro survey of 1,000 millennials who attended public high schools found that the respondents see algebra (25.2%), geometry (24.9%), and chemistry (24.8%) as subjects that weren’t too valuable for their lives and careers.
On the other hand, it found demand for business and finance-related subjects in high schools.
When asked what classes US high schools should make mandatory, 75% said personal finance, followed by stock market basics (68.5%) and filing taxes (57.7%). Over half of the respondents listed other subjects like stress management, income and careers, handling student debt, and personal banking.
The survey’s results show millennials feel like formal public education has serious holes in it. Some, like the Motley Fool, propose these gaps can be filled through parental efforts to teach them outside of the education system, although this could arguably backfire since parents do not necessarily have a solid grasp of subjects like the stock market either.
While Nitro’s survey found that most millennials believe high schools should teach students about personal finance and the stock market, another found that younger investors are increasingly placing faith in the cryptocurrency market instead of Wall Street.
As CCN reported, an eToro survey found the generation actually trusts crypto exchanges more than stock exchanges, high-profile hacks notwithstanding.
According to the survey, the blockchain’s immutability makes “real-time audit sensible and cost-effective,” which draws in millennials. At the same time, the survey says there has been a “generational shift in trust from traditional stock exchanges to crypto exchanges.”
This, as younger investors’ experience with the stock market has been shaped by the 2008 financial crisis and the fall of Lehman Brothers, caused by irresponsible practices.
Despite millennials’ growing preference for crypto exchanges, the survey indicated 93% of respondents would invest more in cryptocurrencies if traditional financial institutions like TD Ameritrade, Fidelity, and Charles Schwab offered them. Notably, Fidelity Investments is reportedly already exploring the possibility of expanding its soon-to-launch custodian services beyond Bitcoin.
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