Thursday, May 18, 2006
Herb Perone (202) 728-8464
Sarah Bohn (202) 728-8988
NASD Investor Education Foundation Rolls Out Military Education Program With Financial Education Forums Around the World
Washington, DC — The NASD Investor Education Foundation, which launched its Military Financial Education Program in February, recently hosted a series of events aimed at increasing the saving and investing knowledge of the military and their families. The free financial education forums took place in Honolulu, Hawaii; Okinawa and Yokosuka, Japan; and aboard the aircraft carrier USS RONALD REAGAN, now on a tour of duty in the Arabian Gulf.
The educational events are part of a comprehensive financial education campaign designed to help military personnel and their families manage their money with confidence. In coordination with program partners including the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the National Military Family Association (NMFA), the Military Financial Education Program puts print and Web-based financial tools and resources into the hands of servicemembers and their families, improves available financial counseling on and near bases and encourages saving.
At the forums, approximately 2,000 members of the military and their spouses were addressed by industry experts including Robert Glauber, Chairman of the NASD Investor Education Foundation and Chairman and CEO of NASD, Mary Schapiro, a member of the Foundation's Board of Directors and NASD's Vice Chairman and President of Regulatory Policy and Oversight, top military leadership and elected officials. They provided guidance on the fundamental principles of saving and investing and highlighted important tools and resources available to help servicemembers and their spouses take control of their financial futures. Additional forums are scheduled for the coming months.
"The information presented in these forums and the resources available online at SaveAndInvest.org—from tips on avoiding predatory lenders to planning for retirement with the Thrift Savings Plan—are a great benefit to the military community, giving military families the resources they need to help them reach their financial goals." said Rear Admiral Michael C. Vitale, commander Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific, who addressed an audience of some 500 servicemembers and spouses at the financial forum in Honolulu on April 12.
Research conducted in June 2005 found that only 29 percent of military personnel who currently invest received a passing grade on a quiz about basic financial knowledge. However, 58 percent of survey respondents said that it was very important to them that they become more knowledgeable about saving and investing.
"Like all of us, military families must plan for major financial events, such as purchasing a home or saving for college and retirement—but unlike most of us, they have to do so on the go, from literally anywhere in the world," Glauber said. "These forums recognize the unique challenges faced by our nation's military personnel and their families and aim to provide them with the tools they need to save and invest with confidence."
The Foundation has also developed a one-stop online resource—www.SaveAndInvest.org— that provides tools and resources free of charge that can be accessed from anywhere in the world.
The online resource center serves as a centralized, trusted source for unbiased information on saving and investing, including original content, interactive tools and games, partner resources, and frequently asked questions.
Public service announcements that direct military personnel and their families to the tools and resources available at SaveAndInvest.org are currently airing on the American Forces Radio and Television Service and in general market media in areas of the country with large military audiences.
The NASD Investor Education Foundation, established in 2003, supports innovative research and educational projects that give investors the tools they need to better understand the markets and the basic principles of saving and investing. The Foundation has awarded more than $3.7 million in grants for educational programs and research projects targeting the underserved segments of the population. 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 and complementary compliance and technology-based services. More than 5,100 brokerage firms, roughly 116,000 branch offices and more than 650,000 registered securities representatives come under NASD's jurisdiction. 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 securities firms. For more information, please visit our Web site at www.nasd.com.