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Findings of First National Financial Literacy Survey


First National Financial Literacy Survey Reveals Encouraging Findings About Singaporeans' Approach to Money Matters
Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Minister for Education and Deputy Chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) today announced findings of the first National Financial Literacy survey at the Taman Jurong Community Club Official Opening and Singapore's 40th National Day Celebration.
Commissioned by the MoneySENSE national financial education programme, the survey revealed encouraging findings about Singaporeans' approach to money matters.
The survey findings also indicate that Singaporeans have healthy attitudes toward managing their finances. However, there are areas for improvement as many have not translated these positive attitudes to concrete actions.
While the findings are not surprising, the survey provides empirical data confirming anecdotal evidence of how Singaporeans approach financial matters. It also includes an aggregate Financial Literacy Score to benchmark improvements in financial literacy over time.
Key Survey Findings
The majority of Singaporeans save, monitor their spending and are generally responsible in the use of credit.
Most Singaporeans recognize the importance of financial planning and have taken some basic steps. Among those who invested, many considered the risks before doing so. They also monitored their investments.
While these findings are positive, the survey showed that many do not have a clear idea of how much they would need for their retirement.
Many have also not set aside sufficient cash savings to meet emergency needs. In addition, the majority are not aware of the key features of common financial products such as life insurance policies and unit trusts.
Segmented Approach To Address Different Groups
As the survey revealed varying levels of financial literacy among different segments, MoneySENSE will adopt a segmented approach and introduce specific initiatives to address the needs of different target groups.
However, financial literacy levels cannot be improved solely through the efforts of MoneySENSE. Consumers also need to take the initiative to enhance their own financial literacy and be responsible for their own financial decisions.
The National Financial Literacy survey covered 2,023 Singapore citizens and Permanent Residents between 18 to 60 years, and was undertaken in March and April 2005.
The survey covered three main areas - basic money management, financial planning and investment know-how.
The survey aimed to:
(i) understand what actions Singaporeans have taken to manage their finances;
(ii) assess their level of knowledge about common financial products and services;
(iii) gauge the attitudes of Singaporeans towards financial matters;
(iv) identify areas where more consumer education is required; and
(v) measure the level of awareness of MoneySENSE.

Source: Press Release 30 Jul 2005


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5 August 2005