SaveAndInvest.org Launches with Event at U.S. Capitol
February 16, 2006
On Thursday, February 16, the NASD Investor Education Foundation introduced SaveAndInvest.org, a comprehensive campaign to help servicemembers manage their money with confidence. The campaign was officially launched at an event on Capitol Hill and is receiving broad-based support from members of Congress, the Department of Defense and the SEC.
Senator Daniel Akaka (D-HI), Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), Congressman Michael Oxley (R-OH), Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness David S.C. Chu and SEC Commissioner Cynthia Glassman were on hand for the launch, along with Bob Glauber, Chairman of the NASD Investor Education Foundation and Chairman and CEO of NASD, and Mary Schapiro, who is a member of the Foundation's Board of Directors and Vice-Chairman of NASD.
"We have heard too many stories about servicemembers and their families, especially junior enlisted servicemembers, being pressured into buying financial products that they don't need and which don't make sense for them," said Senator Clinton. "The antidote to this problem is education. If we educate servicemembers and their families, they will have the tools to recognize when someone is trying to take advantage of them."
"I am especially appreciative of NASD's efforts in providing objective financial literacy tools and training to our troops," said Congressman Oxley. "Our military troops can often encounter impediments in accessing reliable information on investing and savings. The existence of SaveAndInvest.org will help fill this gap."
The Foundation created the SaveAndInvest.org campaign with $6.8 million from the $12 million fine that NASD assessed First Command Financial Planning, Inc., in December 2004. NASD found that its representatives used misleading sales practices when selling products called systematic investment plans—which carried first-year sales charges of 50 percent—to military personnel.
The campaign's most visible feature is the SaveAndInvest.org Web site. Visitors can access free information about personal finance, financial products (including systematic investment plans) and life events that require long-term saving and planning, such as purchasing a home, saving for college and preparing for retirement. In addition, the site addresses the unique financial challenges that are posed by duty-station changes and deployments. Along with the educational information, visitors will find interactive tools that they can use to make informed decisions about saving and investing: a financial knowledge quiz, online calculators and links to NASD BrokerCheck, the Mutual Fund and 529 Plan Expense Analyzers and the Mutual Fund Breakpoint Search Tool, among others.
To raise awareness of these resources, the Foundation has developed a series of print, radio and television public service announcements (PSAs) that direct people to SaveAndInvest.org. The campaign's television and radio PSAs are now airing on the American Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS), which reaches servicemembers, civilian personnel and their families around the world.
In addition, the Foundation has partnered with organizations that work with the military community, including the National Military Family Association, the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education and the National Endowment for Financial Education, to develop programs, provide training and distribute information and resources. The efforts include:
The Military Financial Counselor Investment Education Program, a continuing education program designed to enhance the skills of financial counselors who serve military families.
The Military Spouse Fellowship for the Accredited Financial Counselor Program, a program to train a corps of military spouses to provide financial counseling and education within the military community. Recipients of the Military Spouse Fellowship must commit to not only completing the courses of study, but also working or volunteering in the financial counseling field serving the military community for two years.
The new "Investing Department" of Military Money, a magazine and corresponding Web site of the InCharge Education Foundation.
An updated edition of Military Families: Money and Mobility, a publication that helps servicemembers and their families deal with the financial issues surrounding deployment and duty-station changes.
- Enhancements to Military Saves, the military component of the Consumer Federation of America's America Saves, a national social marketing campaign designed to encourage and support low- to moderate-income households to save and build personal wealth.