ICFE eNEWS #09-32 - December 23rd 2009
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FINRA Foundation Releases Inaugural Financial Capability Survey

FINRA Foundation Releases Inaugural Financial Capability Survey

Washington, D.C. -- The FINRA Investor Education Foundation today released survey results that measure the financial capabilities of American adults and reveal in detail how Americans save, borrow and plan for their financial future. The National Financial Capability Survey, the first of its kind in the United States, was developed in consultation with the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the President's Advisory Council on Financial Literacy. In an event today at the U.S. Treasury, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and FINRA CEO and FINRA Foundation Chairman Rick Ketchum all met with financial literacy and community leaders as well local high school students to announce the results.

By exploring how people manage their Resources and how they make financial decisions, this national survey allows the FINRA Foundation to extend the reach of financial education programs in communities across the country. The FINRA Foundation today announced a new partnership with United Way Worldwide to reach low- and middle-income Americans and also announced a significant expansion of its Smart investing@your library(R) partnership with the American Library Association, which reaches 23 million people in 26 states. In total, the FINRA Foundation is funding 31 new grants to help community-based organizations provide effective and unbiased financial education.

The release of this survey comes at a critical moment for many American families. For example, the survey found that:

  • only 41 percent of parents have set aside money for their children's college education;
  • the majority of Americans do not have a "rainy day" fund for unanticipated financial emergencies and are not adequately preparing for their children's college education and their own retirement;
  • more than one in five survey respondents use high-cost, alternative borrowing methods, such as payday loans or pawn shops; and
  • fewer than half (46 percent) of those surveyed correctly answered two basic questions about how interest rates and inflation work.

"These survey results highlight just how important it is to give people the information and Resources they need to make sound financial decisions. The FINRA Foundation will use this important information to help focus its efforts to address the financial education needs of underserved Americans," said FINRA Foundation Chairman Rick Ketchum.

An executive summary, as well as a longer survey report, is available on the FINRA Foundation Web site. The Foundation will also make the survey data available to the public and to researchers.

The National Survey is one of three linked surveys that comprise the National Financial Capability Study. In early 2010, the FINRA Foundation will release the other two components: a State-by-State Survey and a Military Survey. .

About the ICFE:

The Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE) was founded in 1982 by the late Loren Dunton (creator of the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation).  The ICFE is dedicated to helping consumers of all ages to improve their spending, increase savings and use credit more wisely. 
The ICFE is an award winning, nonprofit, consumer education organization that has helped millions of people through its education programs and Resources. It publishes the Do-It-Yourself Credit File correction Guide, which is updated annually. The ICFE has distributed over one million Credit/Debit Card Warning Labels and Credit/Debit Card Sleeves world wide.

The ICFE became an official partner with the Department of Defense/Financial Readiness Campaign in June of 2004.The ICFE was an active partner in the California Student Debt Resource Awareness Project (CASDRAP) which resulted in a new web site: (studentdebthelp.org).  CASDRAP disbanded in 2010, shortly after the web site project was completed.  In 2011 the ICFE assumed the single sponsorship of the (studentdebthelp.org) web site and is now responsible for its content and operation.

The ICFE is also an on-line help for consumers who spend too much.  ICFE's spending help was featured in PARADE Magazine in the Intelligence Report section. The money helps and tips are from the ICFE's Money Instruction Book, our course in personal finance.

Visit the ICFE's other web sites at: www.financial-education-icfe.org and studentdebthelp.org.  Both sites helps consumers and students with mending spending, learning about the proper use of credit, budget and expense guidelines, how to set up and implement a spending-plan and also how to access financial education courses and how to teach children about money. Other ICFE services include: Ask Mr. G,  a free eNews, and an online resource center for students, parents and educators, plus financial education learning tools and a book store.

 
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