Where does financial literacy lead? 5 answers from American leaders

April is Financial Literacy Month and CNBC is featuring advice from our contributors and frequent guests. Here’s how they think about financial literacy and its impact on their lives and future generations of American consumers, savers and investors.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Super Bowl champion and investor Ndamukong Suh is successful on and off the field. The former All-American lineman has invested in over 30 companies, including Oura Ring, and he is a firm believer that financial literacy is the foundation for financial knowledge and thinks it should be taught in schools.

“Financial literacy definitely needs to be in the school system. I wish I had it when I was growing up. It’s important for our youth to learn that at an early age because it becomes very prevalent in their life … whether it’s renting a car, leasing a car, buying a car, looking for your first home or looking for your first apartment and understanding your credit as a part of those different decisions. If you don’t have that basic foundation and that knowledge, you’re not going to be able to succeed in life.”

Currently, there are no federal guidelines for personal finance education in schools, which means it’s up to individual states to set their own rules. There are 23 states that mandate a personal finance course for students, according to the 2022¬†Survey of the States¬†from the Council for Economic Education.

Being financially literate is empowering because it allows people to make informed decisions when deciding how to use their hard-earned money, says Marc Morial, the former mayor of New Orleans and National Urban League President and CEO. But he prefers to use the term “financial empowerment.”

“Here at the National Urban League, we prefer the term financial empowerment to the term financial literacy because most Americans, they do understand and know about money, and they do have a basic understanding of the financial system. They are not empowered fully to confront the complexities. So, we like to talk about the goal. And…

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