By coincidence, a front page article in WSJ today reports on research ($) that shows that people reach their peak financial expertise when they are 53 years old, plus a couple of months:
The [researchers] found that middle-aged adults tend to borrow at lower interest rates and pay fewer fees than younger and older adults. The age at which consumers are least likely to make financial mistakes: a few months past their 53rd birthday, despite all the pressures that accompany middle age.
The researchers evaluated the loans made at a large financial institution, unnamed but assumed to be in the north east, and found that repeatedly the interest rates on loans were lower for that age group. Plus there appeared to be a greater ability to spot those "gotcha's" that banks use to charge higher fees and rates, such as applying payments to lower interest rate balances first. This chart from the article makes for a pretty clear picture.
I've noticed in myself the last few years that I am becoming much more financially savvy, even if I ma still many years away from the "prime" age in finances. I always assumed it was because I starting working for a bank, but that may not be the case.
The research is not yet published, nor peer reviewed, so take the information with a grain of salt. I just found it very interesting, and with the timing of todays Dilbert, it was also illuminating.
I see from my categories that this is my first finance related article. I guess I need to get busy in that sector, such as explaining why there is exactly $1.00 difference in your checking account when it lists "available" and "current" balances.