WHAT IS THE FINANCIAL LITERACY LEVEL OF ECUADORIAN POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY STUDENTS? AN ESSAY TO EVALUATE THEIR PERFORMANCE
A survey of 478 university students of ESPOL was applied to evaluate their financial literacy level. The sample, using their background in finance as a criterion, is divided into three groups: naturals, enlightened and unfamiliar. The results reveal numeracy as the principal reason to understand how people from the group “unfamiliar” reached better performance than "enlightened" and how, once again, the no “naturals” represents 70% of the people choosing a retirement account like their first option between house and car and pension plans, as the three Key Financial Decisions (KFD) provided in this study. Usual performances attributed to demographic and socioeconomic variables related to financial literacy performance were confirmed in this study: women, youth, low educational level of parents, low-income level, got low financial literacy level. The survey developed and applied as financial literacy´s instrument valuation passed the statistical proof under multivariate analysis and Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA). A proposal of financial literacy valuation index was developed with the data collected. Further studies could apply this survey to national and foreign higher education’s institutions, to compare their results and prove its robustness.