Report No. 1 of the Opportunity and Ownership Project. Financial services have become more free and accessible, but also increasingly complex. For new financial options to help most people, they must understand their options. Unfortunately, Americans have a weak grasp of basic finance. This paper emphasizes the importance of financial literacy and examines current financial education strategies. We explore two methods of financial educationbroad financial curriculums and "teachable moments." After examining each, we suggest that a combination of the two perspectives, with the topics and strategies varying by target audience. We conclude by calling for a more rigorous evaluation of the effects of existing programs.
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