Washington, D.C. -- The NASD Investor Education Foundation today launched a comprehensive new campaign to deliver financial education tools and training to members of the military and their spouses. The campaign is designed to help military personnel and their families manage their money with confidence by providing financial education programs, information and publications, as well as a new Web site -- SaveAndInvest.org.
Many servicemembers report having difficulty covering expenses and saving for the future. 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. Sixty-two percent indicated that they plan to increase their investment levels in the next year.
"We know that military personnel want and need objective, unbiased information to help them make sound financial decisions," said Robert R. Glauber, Chairman of the NASD Investor Education Foundation, who also serves as Chairman and CEO of NASD. "The NASD Foundation is pleased to launch our new campaign to provide financial training and tools to military families and to be working in this effort with the Department of Defense and all branches of the military."
The Foundation, through partnerships with organizations already working with the military community, will provide financial training programs for spouses as well as for on-base financial counselors. The Foundation will also fund the development of publications and resources aimed at providing military personnel with information relevant to their unique needs and lifestyles. A new Web site, SaveAndInvest.org, will cater to the military community and provide useful tools and up-to-date information.
"Family separations resulting from duty stations changes and deployments away from home often put additional financial stress on military families," said Mary Schapiro, a member of the Foundation's Board of Directors and also Vice-Chairman of NASD. "Given the fact that military families are often on the move, we are committed to making sure servicemembers and their spouses have access to easy-to-use tools and financial education materials wherever they are."
"Financial preparedness is a key component of military readiness," said David S.C. Chu, Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. "Equipping servicemembers with the tools and resources they need to make sound financial decisions is integral to both military readiness and the strength and stability of our service members and their families."
The Foundation's military financial education programs are being funded by fines levied against First Command Financial Planning, Inc. for misleading sales practices related to the sale of systematic investment plans to military personnel. Over $5 million in restitution was paid to individual investors and the remaining funds are being used to fund education and training programs for military personnel and their families.
The NASD Foundation has joined forces with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the National Military Family Association (NMFA), the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education (AFCPE), the InCharge Education Foundation, the National Endowment for Financial Education, the American Savings Education Council, CincHouse.com and the Consumer Federation of America to develop programs, provide training, and distribute information and resources to the military community. Program and services are aimed at both servicemembers and their spouses.
"Our collaboration with the NASD Investor Education Foundation will expand and enhance the opportunities we offer our military families," said Tanna Schmidli, NMFA Chairman of the Board. "With their support, we have worked with the AFCPE to launch the Military Spouse Fellowship for the Accredited Financial Counselor" program. This wonderful Fellowship will provide spouses with the education necessary for entry into the financial counseling and education field. We have already seen tremendous interest in the program and look forward to implementing the Fellowship with great success."
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. NASD believes that understanding should proceed 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.
Contacts: Nancy Condon 202-728-8379, Herb Perone 202-728-8464, Sarah Bohn 202-728-8988