Nguyen NguyenStudent Research Spotlight - Nguyen Nguyen

Hometown:  Hanoi, Vietnam
Major: Doctorate in finance
College: Harbert College of Business
Department: Finance
Class year: 2021
Faculty mentors: James R. Barth and Jitka Hilliard

Financial Literacy and Household Financial Choices


What are you researching?
I am working on the impact of financial literacy on a household’s choice of different financial services. Specifically, I am examining whether households that are more financially literate are banked, underbanked or unbanked. The results indicate that financially literate households tend to use more appropriate and affordable services from banks rather than those offered by alternative financial services like payday loans, pawnshop loans and auto-title loans.

How could the results benefit individuals, agencies or companies?
The research demonstrates the importance of financial literacy in better ensuring that households make more appropriate financial decisions. It, therefore, underscores the need to devote a greater effort to improving the financial literacy of households, especially the lower-income and minority households throughout the country.

Tell us why you enjoy research.
According to the National Financial Capacity Survey in 2018, the average household only answers 2.7 out of five questions correctly in a financial literacy test. Financial illiteracy may result in a wrong financial decision that ends up hurting the household financial wellness. I enjoy using this and other types of data to conduct research that has important implications for the well-being of individuals everywhere, as well as contributing to the design of major public policies.

What advice would you give to other students considering doing a research project?
Be sure to carefully think about the type and importance of the project one wishes to pursue and then devote the time and effort to complete it. Research can be lonely and time-consuming, but, when one produces new and important results, the rewards make everything well worth the effort.

Tell us about any hobbies or activities you enjoy.
I enjoy listening to soothing music while I work on my research projects. Music helps me better concentrate on my work. When I have free time, I also enjoy painting and modular origami folding arts.

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