Wednesday, April 13, 2005
Nancy Condon (202) 728-8379
Sarah Bohn (202) 728-8988
NASD Foundation Funds CFA Project to Increase Investor Knowledge of Mutual Funds
Washington, D.C.— The NASD Investor Education Foundation has awarded a grant of $73,000 to the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) to learn more about what average investors know about mutual funds and how they receive - and prefer to receive - fund information.
The one-year project, Consumer Knowledge of Mutual Fund Products and Information Sources, will also convene representatives from a broad range of industry, government and non-profit organizations to develop a consensus about the essential information mutual fund investors need and how they can best access this information.
"Mutual funds are the investment of choice for half of American households," said Robert R. Glauber, Chairman & CEO of NASD, who also serves as Chairman of the NASD Investor Education Foundation. "And mutual funds are the preferred investment vehicle for the average working investor. We have a responsibility to ensure that the risks, rewards and the mechanics of investing in mutual funds are easily and widely understood."
"We believe this project has enormous potential to benefit investors by making sure they get the key information they need to make an informed mutual fund purchase in a form that is useful to them," said Barbara Roper, CFA Director of Investor Protection. "As we learn more about what investors need to know, what they do know, and how they prefer to receive that information, investor educators can design better education programs, regulators can design more effective disclosures, and fund companies can design more informative sales materials."
The NASD Investor Education Foundation, established in 2003, supports educational programs and research with the goal of providing investors with high-quality, easily accessible information and tools to better understand investing and the markets. The Foundation recently awarded more than $1 million in total to 11 organizations, including Boston College, for new educational programs and research projects targeting the underserved segments of the population. The NASD Investor Education Foundation formally launched its second full grant cycle on April 5, inviting non-profit groups and researchers to apply for funding. Grant proposals must be submitted by June 3, 2005. For details about grant programs and other new initiatives of the Foundation, visit www.nasdfoundation.org.
NASD is the leading private-sector provider of financial regulatory services, dedicated to investor protection and market integrity through effective and efficient regulation. NASD believes that understanding should precede investing - and that education is often the best form of investor protection. NASD's broad range of investor education programs include Investor Alerts, brochures and online resource guides on such critical topics as mutual fund class shares and 401(k) and college savings plans. This information is distributed through its Web site, www.nasd.com, printed materials and Investor Forums.