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Most Teens Don't Trust Banks, Believe Stock Market Is 'Rigged,' Survey Finds

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The New York Stock Exchange. Most teens don't trust the stock market and Wall Street banks, according to a new survey.
The New York Stock Exchange. Most teens don't trust the stock market and Wall Street banks, according to a new survey.

Big banks are losing the high school popularity contest.

Most high school students don't like or trust Wall Street banks, according to a new survey commissioned by the University of Arizona and conducted by the Financial Literacy Group, cited by American Banker. The survey polled 878 students at 18 high schools across 11 states. (Hat tip: MyBankTracker.)

The survey found that three-quarters of high school students agree with the statement, "The stock market is rigged mostly to benefit greedy Wall Street bankers." And 83 percent of high school students agreed with the statement, "Banks are mostly interested in getting my money through hidden fees."

High school students do not trust businesses in general. Some 70 percent of high school students believe that businesses try to "trick" them into overspending, according to the survey. Teens also misunderstand some basic business concepts; for example, two-thirds of high school students did not know that stocks are riskier investments than government bonds, according to the survey.

It's not just teens. Young people are losing trust in the stock market, and 40 percent of 18- to 30-year-olds say they will "never feel comfortable investing in the stock market," according to a recent study from MFS Investment Management cited by the Wall Street Journal. But the number of 20-somethings investing in stocks still is growing, as 401(k) plans become more commonly used, according to Journal columnist Carolyn Geer.

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