Investing for Success Makes Significant Progress As It Enters Fourth Year
Washington, DC, May 22, 2003 - Now entering its fourth year, the Investing for Success investor education program is paying dividends. The innovative partnership promotes essential financial education and investor awareness messages to African-American and Hispanic audiences throughout the nation and on the Internet.
“We are making progress toward our goal of closing the investment knowledge gap,” said Institute Executive Vice President Julie Domenick. “The Investing for Success program demonstrates the essential role of investor education and awareness. We are encouraged that our messages are hitting home and we look forward to continuing this unique program with our exceptional partners.”
The Investing for Success program was launched in May 2000 by the Investment Company Institute Education Foundation (ICIEF) and the National Urban League to strengthen investor awareness in the African-American community through free investor education workshops and an online web course.
The program was joined in 2001 by the Coalition of Black Investors—Investment Education Fund. Last year, the program was expanded to include the Hispanic College Fund, Inc., to reach the nation’s Hispanic population, and the Society for Financial Education and Professional Development to take the Investing for Success message to the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
Recent research indicates that among working African-American and Hispanic households, those with knowledge about investing are far more likely to save for retirement, Domenick said.(over)
Seventy-seven percent of Hispanic households and 72 percent of African-American households who are knowledgeable about investing are saving for retirement, compared with 44 percent and 43 percent, respectively, who are uninformed about investing, according to the 2003 Retirement Confidence Survey by the American Savings Education Council, the Employee Benefit Research Institute, and Mathew Greenwald & Associates. The Investment Company Institute participates in underwriting the survey.
About one-third of employed African-American and Hispanic households indicated they were offered investment educational materials at work. The survey found that 70 percent of Hispanic households that received educational materials from an employer or retirement plan provider are saving for retirement, compared to 43 percent who did not receive educational materials. The results are similar among African-American households, where 79 percent who received investment educational materials are saving for retirement, compared with 49 percent who did not receive educational materials at work.
The survey also found differences in levels of personal knowledge of investing. For example, the majority of African-American and Caucasian households with at least one person working indicate they have general or comprehensive investment knowledge. The survey shows investment knowledge lags, however, in Hispanic households with at least one person working. To help bring more financial knowledge to the Hispanic population, the Investing for Success program last year launched Invertir con Éxito, a free bilingual web course designed for Hispanic audiences.
Invertir con Éxito joined the award-winning Investing for Success web course to offer animated graphics and video clips of African-American and Hispanic investors and finance professionals commenting on their personal experiences. Participants in both web courses learn how to assess their risk tolerance; match their financial goals and risk tolerance to specific types of investments; and evaluate whether their investment expectations are realistic given their goals and risk tolerance. The multimedia programs also emphasize the importance of realistic expectations and the benefits of long-term investing for financial goals such as a child’s higher education and a secure retirement.
Domenick said ICIEF looks forward to taking the messages of the Investing for Success program to a variety of audiences in the coming year, including the National Association of Hispanic Journalists annual meeting in New York; the National Urban League annual meeting in Pittsburgh; the “Money Means” Financial Conference for Black Women in Boston; and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, both in Washington.