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The Knowledge We Gain & Share

The Foundation serves as a repository for data describing the financial capability of American households. It interprets this data and enables research to help decision-makers and practitioners advance financial well-being in communities nationwide. The Foundation also has an active research agenda focusing on financial fraud in America, and it sponsors a variety of studies to help us understand what works when it comes to financial education and protection.

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National Financial Capability Study

Individuals and families must grapple with a bewildering variety of financial decisions. Even basic decisions require financial knowledge and competency, while more complicated decisions can challenge experts. In consultation with federal agencies, the FINRA Foundation sponsors the National Financial Capability Study to benchmark indicators of financial capability and evaluate how these indicators vary with demographic, behavioral, attitudinal and financial literacy characteristics. The study examines:
  • Making ends meet
  • Planning ahead
  • Managing financial products
  • Financial knowledge and decision-making
The study began in 2009 and has been renewed every three years. The fifth and most recent wave of the study was conducted in 2021. All data and reports from the study are freely available. Together they provide one of the most detailed and important portraits available of Americans' financial knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviors.

Dissertation Completion Fellowship Program

The Foundation offers awards to doctoral candidates from diverse backgrounds pursuing research concerning finance. Learn More >>

Recognizing Leaders

We honor leaders who are committed to understanding and improving investor protection and financial capability in the U.S. See our Awards Programs >>


Understanding Financial Capability
These research studies explore different elements of financial capability, including the financial knowledge, resources and habits of Americans. Read More >>

Aging and Financial Decision Making
Using data from the Rush Memory and Aging Project, these research studies explore the relationships between the aging brain and important outcomes for financial decision making. Read More >> 

Consumer Insights: Money and Investing
The series from the FINRA Foundation and NORC at the University of Chicago explores trends and circumstances affecting the way Americans manage and invest their money. Read More >> 

Millennials and Investing
This study separates myth from reality when it comes to millennials and investing. Learn More >> 


The FINRA Foundation funds research that advances our understanding of financial capability and well-being. Learn More >>

Essential Reading


Does Overconfidence Increase Financial Risk Taking in Older Age?


Investors in the United States 2019


Exposed To Scams: What Separates Victims From Non-Victims?


Does State-Mandated Financial Education Affect High-Cost Borrowing?


Gender, Generation and Financial Knowledge: A Six-Year Perspective


Financial Capability of Adults with Disabilities



Fighting Fraud Through Timely Research

The FINRA Foundation and its partners are at the forefront of research to better understand the prevalence and types of fraud crimes committed in the United States, as well as research to reduce such crime and help victims.

Evaluation and Research


Empowering Investors With Social Annotation When Saving For Retirement


Can Online Disclosure Design Affect Investor Understanding And Performance?


Implementation Guide: Employer-Sponsored Small-Dollar Loan

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Financial Inclusion Research

The FINRA Foundation examines timely personal finance and investing topics through the lens of diversity, inclusion, and equity.