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Money and Kids: Financial Education at Epcot

The vast majority of parents believe they set good examples for their children when it comes to handling money every day. But more than half worry they could be doing more to prepare them to be financially competent by the time they turn 18, according to a recent survey.

In response, T. Rowe Price has teamed up with Walt Disney Imagineering and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Online to present The Great Piggy Bank Adventure—two interactive financial education and entertainment experiences that come to life through a hands-on, interactive experience at INNOVENTIONS at Walt Disney World’s Epcot in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, and through a virtual board game at thegreatpiggybankadventure.com.

The aim is to provide teachable moments to aid parents in discussing saving and investing principles with their children. At the INNOVENTIONS at Epcot experience, family members experience important financial lessons by working together as they play a series of hands-on games—guided by a talking piggy bank. The on-line game is a stand-alone experience for single or multiple players that explores saving and investing in more depth—and employs a virtual piggy bank, which serves as a Personal Investment Guide (P.I.G.).

T. Rowe Price also has created a new section on the firm’s Web site called The Family Center, available at troweprice.com/trowefamilycenter, which is a gateway to The Great Piggy Bank Adventure experiences and also links to the firm’s financial tools, calculators, and investment information.

Source: T. Rowe Price.

Investors View Crash Through Rose-Colored Glasses

Despite the most tumultuous year for investors since the Great Depression, Americans appear unfazed and continue to have high hopes for retirement, according to the results of research reported by Allianz Global Investors, a global investment management firm.

Among the findings:

  • Although investors say they lost an average 30% of their retirement savings at the bottom, a large majority (71%) of those surveyed believe the situation will turn around and they will have a great retirement.
  • Nearly 80% say they are at least somewhat confident they’ll have the money they need when they want to retire.
  • More than 60% believe that the market dislocation is a “temporary downturn and things will eventually go back to normal.”
  • Nearly half (48%) continue to rely on equities as the foundation of their retirement portfolios.
  • Overall, respondents believe a 9% annual mean return is a reasonable expectation for retirement planning.

The survey was conducted on-line by Harris Interactive within the United States between July 27 and August 10, 2009, among a nationwide cross-section of 1,013 pre-retired household financial decision-makers age 30 or older with at least $250,000 in investable assets.

“Despite this refreshing optimism, tremendous damage has been done and Americans now have a lot less accumulated for retirement than they did even a few short years ago,” said Brian Gaffney, CEO of Allianz Global Investors. “Our survey reveals a need for all of us to honestly reassess our vision of retirement and to develop realistic and sustainable retirement savings models. It’s important that we take to heart the lessons learned during this financial crisis and make small changes now to improve our likelihood for a secure retirement in the future.”

Source: Allianz Global Investors.

ARS Settlement “Phishing” Scam:
Don’t Take the Bait

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the independent regulator for U.S. securities firms, is warning the investing public about a recent auction rate securities (ARS) “phishing” scam that promises compensation from ARS settlements in exchange for personal information.

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The E-mail looks like it originates from FINRA, although it does not. It purports to inform the recipient of regulatory actions, and states that the recipient is due $1.5 million regardless of the amount of their ARS investment or loss. The E-mail then “phishes” for personal information including occupation, address and phone number.

FINRA, along with the Securities and Exchange Commission and state securities regulators, recently has announced final settlements with numerous brokerage firms relating to the sale of auction rate securities. However, contrary to the “phishing” E-mail, FINRA does not contact investors directly to advise them of the settlements or settlement procedures. Instead, firms that enter into settlements with FINRA typically send eligible investors offers to repurchase ARS that the firm sold to them. This buyback offer generally takes the form of a physical letter, not an E-mail.

For information related to regulatory actions and procedures for investors involved in ARS settlements, see FINRA’s on-line Auction Rate Securities information (www.finra.org/Investors/InvestmentChoices/AuctionRateSecurities).

What should you do if you receive a “phishing” E-mail?

Do not respond.

And do not click through to any links that might be provided in the E-mail. If you receive a “phishing” E-mail related to an ARS settlement, you are encouraged to notify FINRA by forwarding the E-mail to FINRA’s Office of the Whistleblower at whistleblower@finra.org. You may also call the Whistleblower’s Office at 866-96-FINRA (866-963-4672).

Source: The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority
(FINRA)
.


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