News Release

NASD Foundation Funds Study by College of William & Mary To Examine Perceptions of Retirement Income Options

Washington, D.C. — The NASD Investor Education Foundation has awarded a grant of $252,649 to the College of William & Mary for research to explore which factors influence investors' decisions on how to best manage their retirement assets. The target audience includes investors preparing for retirement, specifically older Americans.

The project, called Experiments on Investment Choice: Annuities Versus Lump Sum Payments, will focus on how information content and delivery, in combination with perceived risk, affect an investor's ability to choose investment payout options. The research will examine how default choices, information content and presentation, and the risk-return profile of risky investments affect investors' decisions to either manage their own wealth or annuitize, which guarantees a steady stream of income for life.

This research project is intended to help develop appropriate investor education and investor protection, since many older Americans may not be actively managing their retirement portfolio and may just be maintaining the "status-quo" of the investment decisions they made when they were younger and their retirement goals were different. The project will involve working with adults and retirees who live in Williamsburg, Newport News and Hampton. The results from the study will assist policy makers and investment companies to help older Americans in making active retirement investment choices that best meet their needs.

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 financial planning. The Foundation has awarded more than $4.5 million in total to organizations 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

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,, printed materials and Investor Forums.