CANBERRA, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) -- Australia's corporate watchdog has launched a push for better economic education in schools to boost financial literacy.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) on Tuesday revealed that only 40 percent of Australians understand the concept of diversification within an investment portfolio and that 41 percent of women found "dealing with money stressful and overwhelming."
Only 53 percent of Australians pay more than the minimum amount due on their mortgage and 35 percent knew the exact value of their superannuation, Australia's equivalent of a pension fund, according to the ASIC data.
"That's not good enough," Laura Higgins from ASIC's Financial Capability team told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) on Tuesday.
"When you feel overwhelmed, and it feels like too much, you aren't going to necessarily end up with the best products and services for your family."
Financial literacy has been a common theme during the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.
It has been suggested that a higher level of economic knowledge could have prevented the widespread malpractice in the industries uncovered by the inquiry.
"Just because they don't feel confident doesn't mean they don't have a budget, and aren't aware of key superannuation concepts, but it might mean that they don't have the confidence to challenge their bank on things, or question advice they've been given from a financial adviser," Higgins said.
According to the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), which has taken an active role in boosting financial literacy, economics has dropped from the third most popular subject among students in their final year of secondary school in the 1990s to 22nd in 2017.
"In the early 1990s over 90 percent of high schools were offering economics as a subject, now only about 40 percent of high schools offer economics as a subject," Luci Ellis, assistant governor of the RBA, said.