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Current economic conditions have raised serious concerns about Americans' financial security, especially for those who lack the skills and resources to withstand financial market downswings and take advantage of upswings. However, significant debate continues about the role of financial literacy, the extent of the problem it truly represents, and the best way to address it. A large part of this debate may be linked to the fact that a great deal of variation continues to exist in how researchers define and measure financial literacy itself. By providing a review of theoretical and operational approaches to financial literacy, as well as a conceptual model and composite definition of financial literacy, this paper contributes towards further sharpening this debate.

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