NASD Investor Education Foundation Announces 2005 Grant Cycle
Washington, DC - The NASD Investor Education Foundation launched its second full grant cycle today, formally inviting non-profit groups and researchers to apply for funding for projects that will help provide investors with high quality, easily accessible information and tools to better understand investing and the markets. Grant proposals must be submitted by June 3, 2005.
The Foundation is particularly interested in funding projects that address priority areas identified by NASD's 2003 Investor Survey. Those priorities include improving and expanding educational resources available to underserved segments of the investing population - particularly first-time investors, young adults, women and the elderly. NASD's research indicates that these groups tend to have a weaker understanding of fundamental financial issues.
"Investors need more and better information. Our Foundation is committed to finding new and innovative ways to meet that need," said Foundation Chairman Robert R. Glauber, who also serves as NASD's Chairman and CEO. "Investor education is where investor protection begins. Well-educated investors are better prepared to make the right choices from the start. We look forward to funding grant proposals that demonstrate effective ways of developing and distributing information investors can use to enter the markets with confidence and secure their financial futures."
Of particular interest to the Foundation in 2005 are projects that:
- Better prepare older Americans for handling their finances during retirement.
- Better prepare Americans of high school and college age who are just starting out as investors.
- Encourage Americans to implement steps to achieve basic retirement security and avoid investing pitfalls.
- Encourage women to take control their financial futures.
- Advance practice, policy and thought in the fields of investor education and investor protection.
- Encourage investors to check the backgrounds of financial professionals prior to doing business with them.
The Foundation has set no minimum or maximum for the number of grants to be funded or for the amounts of the grant awards. In considering grant requests, the merits of the proposed project will be the primary focus. Generally, projects should be neither less than 12 months nor more than 24 months in duration.
In addition to this general cycle, the Foundation is developing at least two targeted grant programs, each designed to address a specific priority areas. The first, which is accepting proposals until April 13, is focused on helping first-time investors set financial goals and plan for retirement. The second, scheduled to begin in May 2005, will address the critical issue of improving disclosure to investors.
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 for new educational programs and research projects targeting the underserved segments of the population. The Foundation's grant initiatives complement NASD's own investor education efforts. 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.