Back to top

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.

© Oxford

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 next wave of the study is taking place in 2018. 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.

The Ketchum Prize

This annual $10,000 prize spotlights researchers and educators who have made outstanding advances on behalf of investor protection and financial capability in the U.S. 

Millennials and Investing

This study separates myth from reality when it comes to millennials and investing.


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

Investors in the U.S. 2016

Check out this infographic on investors in the U.S. from the 2016 National Financial Capability Study.


Essential Reading


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


Investors in the United States 2016


Infographic: Investors in the United States 2016 - Investing Behaviors


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.


What Works

The FINRA Foundation supports rigorous research that guides those who help consumers. This takes the form of evaluation studies and experiments to demonstrate what works, what doesn’t and what needs to change so that Americans have what they need to make informed financial choices. After all, financial education is just too important to leave to untested assumptions and outmoded practices. Every student, every worker and everyone managing their retirement deserves access to financial education that is based on solid evidence of effectiveness.

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