Conscientiousness, Financial Literacy, and Asset Accumulation of Young Adults

Authors

  • JODI C. LETKIEWICZ,

  • JONATHAN J. FOX


  • Jodi Letkiewicz (jodilet@yorku.ca) is an Assistant Professor at York University and Jonathan Fox (jjfox@iastate.edu) is the Ruth Whipp Sherwin Professor in Human Development and Family Studies at Iowa State University.

Abstract

This study utilizes the 1997 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth to examine the relationship between financial literacy, conscientiousness, and asset accumulation among young adults. Findings indicate that both conscientiousness and financial literacy are consistent predictors of asset accumulation among young Americans. A one-standard-deviation increase in conscientiousness is correlated with a 40% increase in net worth, a 53% increase in illiquid asset holdings, and a 33% increase in liquid asset holdings. A one-standard-deviation increase in financial literacy is correlated with a 60% increase in illiquid asset holdings and a 30% increase in liquid asset holdings. Financial literacy moderates the effect of conscientiousness on net worth. These findings suggest that conscientiousness and financial literacy are important factors and that policies and programming with a dual emphasis on increasing conscientiousness and financial literacy are likely to have a positive impact on consumer savings and asset-building.

Ancillary