Washington, D.C.- In an effort to improve the kind and quality of investment information available to underserved segments of the investing public, the NASD Investor Education Foundation has awarded more than $1 million to 11 organizations for new educational programs and research projects.
Many of the grants announced today - the first awarded by the Foundation - address priority areas identified by NASD's 2003 Investor Survey. Those priorities include educating women, and older Americans and minority groups. The NASD survey indicated that these groups tend to have a weaker understanding of fundamental financial issues.
"The debate about Social Security has focused more Americans on investing in the markets to save for retirement," said NASD Chairman and CEO Robert Glauber. "New investors need to know more about what they should be doing and why. And according to our research, that's particularly true for women and younger investors. The projects funded by the Foundation today will help us find effective ways of developing and distributing information these investors can use to secure their financial futures."
The projects funded by the awards announced today are:
- $150,000 to the Boston College Center for Retirement Research for Empowering Women: Impediments and Solutions in Financial Decision Making, which will develop an interactive game-based retirement planning program for 45-60 year old women.
- $202,708 to Iowa State University for Understanding Significant Factors that Explain Gender Differences in Investments, which will analyze gender roles in investment behavior through a national survey and identify educational strategies to promote wise investment behavior in women.
- $74,492 to the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center for Saving and Education Model for Elementary and Secondary School Employees, which will develop a model for workplace investor education for public school system employees, primarily women.
- $127,729 to WISE Senior Services for Off the Hook Again: Understanding Why the Elderly are Victimized by Economic Fraud Crimes, which will conduct a series of focus groups to examine the victims of investment fraud and develop practical messages to increase fraud awareness among seniors.
- $92,070 to the First Nations Development Institute for Building Native Communities: Investment Skills for Families, which will create the first culturally appropriate investor education curriculum for Native Americans.
- $75,000 to the Education and Research Foundation of the Better Business Bureau serving Metropolitan New York for More Money Now: Better Credit & Longer-Lasting Dollars, to create national education project that will provide tools in English and Spanish to guide financial decision-making.
- $100,000 to the Maryland Public Broadcasting Foundation for its Public Television Investor Education Broadcast and Outreach Initiative, which will produce 24 investor education segments to be aired weekly on the nationally televised Wall $treet Week with FORTUNE.
- $120,000 to Northwestern University's Bluhm Legal Clinic for the Investor Protection Clinic, which will establish the first securities arbitration clinic in the Midwest to provide legal representation for small investors, and develop a model securities arbitration clinic that can be easily replicated at other law schools throughout the nation.
- $77,400 to Princeton University for a study entitled Overcoming Psychological Biases to Promote Wise Investing, which will examine psychological biases that play a role in poor investment decisions and research how to counteract those biases to promote wise investing.
- $73,404 to the Rutgers University School of Business for Exploring Solutions to the Fund Assortment Problem, a national survey to examine the correlation between fund assortment and the quality of investment decisions.
- $73,760 to the Consumer Federation of America for Consumer Knowledge of Mutual Fund Projects and Information Services, which will identify knowledge required for consumers to make sound mutual fund investment decisions.
The Foundation will conduct at least three grant programs in 2005. The first is focused on projects aimed at helping young adults set financial goals and plan for retirement. Interested non-profit and educational organizations should visit www.nasdfoundation.org for details.
NASD is the leading private-sector provider of financial regulatory services, dedicated to investor protection and market integrity through effective and efficient regulation and complementary compliance and technology-based services. NASD touches virtually every aspect of the securities business - from registering and educating all industry participants, to examining securities firms, enforcing both NASD rules and the federal securities laws, and administering the largest dispute resolution forum for investors and member firms. For more information, please visit our Web Site at www.nasd.com.