NASD Foundation Funds Educational Programs for Young Adult Investors
Washington, D.C. — In an effort to help first-time investors set financial goals and plan for retirement, the NASD Investor Education Foundation has awarded over $1.3 million to seven organizations for educational programs and research projects aimed at improving and expanding educational resources for young adults about to enter the workforce.
Studies show that most college and high school students lack the financial knowledge necessary for a smooth entry into investment decision-making. In NASD's national 2003 Investor Survey, young workers were identified as one segment of the investing public with a weak understanding of financial matters. Less than a quarter of investors between the ages of 21 and 29 scored a passing grade in investor literacy.
"Good financial habits start early, so it is critical that young adults have access to accurate and reliable information about saving and investing," said Robert R. Glauber, Chairman & CEO of NASD, who also serves as Chairman of the NASD Investor Education Foundation. "We are confident the research projects and educational programs we have funded will help empower the next generation of investors to effectively manage their financial futures."
The projects funded by the awards announced today are:
- $340,294 to Kidz Online, Inc., a Herndon, Virginia non-profit, for Mastering Money, a video series that will teach teens and young adults how to manage their money and how to invest. Each episode will integrate advice from successful individuals in various industries who started investing when they were young.
- $240,829 to the Baruch College of City University of New York to develop an interactive computer-based investment guide called the Young Investors Online Guide, which will help young adults make smart investment choices in the early stages of their working lives.
- $237,081 to the University of Tennessee for a workplace investor education program, Preparing Young Employees to Build Wealth Over Their Working Careers, which will develop a curriculum and an education methodology that can be customized to worksite education needs nationwide. The project will integrate the workplace-based investor education curriculum being developed by Louisiana State University, a 2004 NASD Foundation grantee.
- $189,373 to University of Kentucky for Future 4-H Millionaires Club, a program that will develop an investment club curriculum, leaders' manual, and companion investment Web site for the establishment of 4-H Investment Clubs.
- $150,000 to the Partnership for After School Education (PASE) for a program that will launch Your Retirement Starts Today!, which will consist of the development of materials and on-site sessions to deliver investor education to low- to middle-income young adult workers of youth-serving agencies in the New York metropolitan area, some of whom will be trained to educate other young people who are constituents of the various youth-serving organizations.
- $103,300 to the Southern New Hampshire University for Financial Literacy for High School Students, an interactive investment education program and curriculum that will provide training on diversification in investing, selection of mutual funds, and investment and retirement planning to high school students for replication nationwide. This project will be pilot tested through the Montgomery County Public Schools.
- $72,846 to the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Montana, Inc. for the Montana Native American Student Investor Education Program, which will deliver investor education to tribal youth members - from middle school through junior college - of the American Indian Business Leaders (AIBL) Student Organization on three Montana Reservations. The project will utilize the investor education curriculum being developed by First Nations Development Institute, a 2004 NASD Foundation grantee.
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 $2.4 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 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.