After the successful adoption of an investor education program by credit unions in Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Wisconsin, the effort is making its way to other states.
The Investor Education in Your Workplace program encourages employees to participate more fully in workplace saving and investing programs. The 10-week online curriculum includes such courses as basics of personal finance, understanding investment risks and working with financial advisers.
The program is offered by the Investor Protection Institute with support provided by the Investor Protection Trust. It is carried out jointly with state securities agencies and the National Credit Union Foundation.
The IEiYW was piloted with credit union employees and educators in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. Nearly 8,500 employees in hundreds of workplaces in the three states have completed the program, according to officials.
The program is now expanding to the District of Columbia, Alaska, Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, Oklahoma, Vermont and Washington.
So far, credit union employees have experienced a 38% and 47% improvement in investor education knowledge in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, respectively, the program said. Fifty percent said they increased their short- and long-term saving and investing activities.
Up to 50% improved their attitudes towards increasing their financial well-being, setting investment goals, implementing a budget, and starting or increasing contributions to 401(k), individual retirement accounts or equivalent plans.
Lois Kitsch, NCUF national program manager, said credit unions are ideal for testing what works when it comes to investor education designed to spur more saving and investing.
“The strong results we already have seen with this program make us very eager to be part of the new phase of the campaign in which it is going national,” Kitsch said.