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Are You Smarter Than an American (About Money)?

by Ben Popken /
Steve Marcus / Reuters File
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Have we learned nothing since the crash of 2008? According to the results of a new survey, the lessons of the Great Recession certainly haven't resulted in any increased financial literacy.

Steve Marcus / Reuters File

Despite growing numbers of Americans giving themselves a "very high" rating on their financial know-how, fewer of them grasp financial basics.

The long-running study by the Finra Investment Education Foundation includes six questions intentionally designed to be very easy. They asked things like calculating whether an account earning 2 percent on $100 would be worth more than $102 after five years, or whether 15-year or 30-year mortgages had higher monthly payments but lower overall interest payments.

Five of the six questions have been on the test for several years. In 2015, only 37 percent got four out of the five questions right, versus 42 percent in 2009.

The question that really stumped people, though, was, "If interest rates rise, what will typically happen to bond prices? Rise, fall, stay the same, or is there no relationship?" Only 28 percent gave the correct answer.

Take the quiz for yourself here and see how your smarts stack up. (Spoiler: Bonds will fall.)

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