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Local News

Initiative Aims to Improve GA Teens’ Financial Literacy

Credit: iStock

Shanteya Hudson

Aiming to close the financial literacy divide among teens and young adults, one investment company has set a goal of reaching one million of them by 2025.

The National Center for Education Statistics reported among 15-year-olds, only one in four regularly discusses economics or financial matters with their parents.

The Edward Jones Financial Fitness program is one way to get the information to them.

Nolan Jeter, financial adviser for Edward Jones in Atlanta, said increasing a young person’s financial knowledge is also a way to build and enhance their confidence and well-being.

“The biggest difference between people reaching their full potential and financial success is discipline,” Jeter contended. “The sad truth is, most people don’t know what those disciplines are.”

Jeter pointed out the program tackles topics like saving strategies, how to start and use a 401(k) account, and planning for a secure future. To date, he said the program has helped more than 485,000 students, and is on track to double in two years.

survey by the website WalletHub ranks Georgia 39th among states for overall financial literacy.

Jeter noted it is a common misconception money management skills are not needed if you do not have much to manage. He emphasized students can learn to handle whatever amount they have more effectively.

“This is one of the ways that we’re really focused and delivering that impact to these communities,” Jeter stressed. “We know that that’s where we see the biggest gap between people and working with financial professionals. We know that there are underserved communities, particularly — especially in the minority communities — that just simply don’t know.”

State initiatives also have been set in motion to help increase financial literacy in teens. Last year, Gov. Brian Kemp approved a bill making financial literacy courses compulsory for high school students starting in the next academic year. All students in grades 11 and 12 must complete a half-credit course to be eligible for graduation.

This story was written by Shanteya Hudson, a producer at Public News Service, where this story first appeared.