A recent study by MasterCard showed that, among Asia Pacific regions, New Zealanders have the best money management skills, though the Chinese are the most talented investors.
The survey examined three areas of financial literacy, including money management skills, financial planning and investment knowledge.
In overall financial literacy, New Zealand ranked the highest, coming in ahead of Singapore, Taiwan, Indonesia, India and Japan. Indonesia fell seven places to 14th place.
New Zealand also ranked first in overall basic money management, which includes skills in budgeting, paying bills, credit commitments and saving, beating out Australia and Singapore. Myanmar and India were the least literate in the money management category.
China ranked first in understanding investment concepts and bank statements, surpassing Hong Kong and Taiwan. Burma ranked first in the region for financial planning, beating out Taiwan and Malaysia.
“New Zealand is a standout overall, and China has made great strides in improving investment acumen,” Georgette Tan, the group head for communications at MasterCard’s Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa division, said. “However, there are divides across our markets that reflect the gap between the developed and the developing. Financial literacy is a concern where a large proportion of society are without the support and education that is taken for granted in the developed world.”
Consumers in China, Thailand and the Philippines showed significant improvement in financial literacy. Women in Myanmar, China and Vietnam also outperformed men in financial literacy, and the survey found that respondents who were married and over 30 years of age tended to score higher in all countries except for the Philippines.