Israelis lag behind others in financial literacy

According to the CBS, Israelis are far less knowledgeable about financial topics than their counterparts overseas.

By NADAV SHEMER
November 4, 2012 23:03
1 minute read.
Isreli currency.

Money cash Shekels currency 521. (photo credit: Reuters)

 
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Israelis are more likely to opt for long-term savings than their overseas counterparts but are far less knowledgeable about financial topics, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported Sunday.

The statistic bureau’s financial literacy report, which surveyed 1,200 adults, found that 57 percent of Israelis have a savings account at the bank.

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Exactly half of respondents said they invest in a pension fund, 37% in an advanced study fund, 35% in a provident fund, 14% in bonds or stocks and 8% in mutual funds.

Only 59% of respondents were able to correctly calculate 2% annual interest from a sum of NIS 1,000. Only 65% understood the sentence, “The cost of living rises rapidly when there is high inflation.”

The global average for these two problems, based on surveys conducted by the OECD in 14 countries, is 82% and 80%, respectively.

About two-thirds of Israeli adults have private health insurance, the survey found, but there were wide gaps between Jews (71%) and Arabs (46%). In fact, Arabs were far less likely to have any of the other types of insurance listed in the report: automotive, home, life, contents and mortgage.

Large gender gaps were also discovered by the survey. Onethird of women said their husband or boyfriend was the main financial decision-maker in their household, but only 9% of men said their wife or girlfriend made the decisions.

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Financial behavior was also polled: 84% said they keep track of expenses, 82% said they pay all their bills on time, 81% said they make price comparisons before purchasing products, and 19% admitted to buying things even if they did not have the money available.

Returning to one of the main themes of last year’s protests over the cost of living, 45% reported difficulties in covering their monthly expenses.

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