The big financial mistake Americans don’t want to talk about

Americans don’t want to admit it, but the vast majority of them have made financial mistakes.

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Those are the findings from a new survey conducted by TD Ameritrade, which showed that about three-quarters of people admitted to having made a misstep when managing their finances.

What did people consider their biggest financial mistake? Not investing in a 401(k).

About 36 percent of people say they made mistakes based on a lack of financial education or knowledge – slightly fewer thought it was impolite to discuss finances in social situations.

Recently, President Trump has been touting the benefits a booming stock market has had on Americans’ 401(k) accounts.

During a rally in North Carolina earlier this month, he said that if a Democratic opponent “ever got into office,” people’s 401(k) accounts would experience a “big crash.”

In May, the president said the average 401(k) balance has soared 466 percent since “the bottom of the market.”

The number of so-called 401(k) millionaires reached 180,000 in the first quarter of 2019, according to Fidelity. That’s a 35 percent quarter over quarter increase.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration moved this week to give more Americans access to retirement plans through their employers. The government issued a new rule that would make it easier for small businesses to band together to offer plans to employees.

According to the White House, 38 million Americans in the private sector do not have access to retirement plans through their employers.

Workplace plans are a critical way many people can bolster their savingsOpens a New Window..


The second biggest mistake respondents copped to having made according to TD Ameritrade was not having an emergency fund.

According to a recent survey from, about 28 percent of U.S. adults have no emergency savings.

In addition to their financial mistakes, Americans were also uncomfortable discussing student loan debt, childcare expenses and living paycheck to paycheck.