Tuesday, May 11, 2010

FINAL Financial Literacy Newsletter

Greetings Friends,

With the National Financial Literacy Month of April now being behind us, it only seems fitting that this newsletter also be my last and final Financial Literacy Update communication with you. Actively pursuing my nationwide Financial Literacy Project for the past 4 years has been a wonderful experience overall, but I recently returned to my roots in the telecom industry (following the expiration of my non-compete agreement), and I am now 110% focused on growing that exciting new venture. I am enjoying being back in a challenging, productive and fun environment working with many of the same people as I did previously. My, how time flies!

Final Updates on Important Financial Literacy Topics:

Secrets of Money Documentary Movie: The Financial Illiteracy Epidemic in America Exposed:

In mid-2009, we finished 5 months of documentary movie filming, which involved traveling nationwide to collect over 120 hours of raw and shocking footage on the state of financial illiteracy in America. We interviewed over 100 regular people, students, educators, government officials, celebrities, personal finance experts and others (click here for the detailed list) to get their perspective on the importance of Financial Literacy in schools and at home.

Unfortunately, some other pressing projects took precedence last year, and the completion of the documentary film was temporarily placed on hold. My partners and I are still committed to getting this important documentary movie finished and distributed , and are actively seeking a qualified joint venture partner to see this project through to completion. Click here for joint venture information and a copy of the summary letter with additional details, which is also being circulated to our interviewees and the documentary film community. Feel free to pass this on to anyone you know who might be interested in this opportunity or contact me for more information.

Financial Literacy Web Domains Available:

Over the past few years, I have accumulated several hundred web domains which relate to financial literacy. Now that I am moving on to other endeavors, I would welcome any affiliate, joint venture or opportunities to sell these domains. Please click here for the complete list or contact me to discuss opportunities.

The Secrets of Money Book: A Guide for Everyone on Practical Financial Literacy:

My 472-page information packed book continues to do well and teaches readers everything they need to know about personal finance from a practical perspective that they can quickly and easily relate to. Amazon continues to offer the best price and it's also the only book I know of with a money back offer! As always, your published Amazon reviews and testimonials for our website are greatly appreciated. Special quantity discounts are available for orders of 100+ books for your school, club, association or company (private branding programs have become very popular). Please contact us for details.


Over the past several years, tens of thousands of visitors have taken my free and thought-provoking quiz to test their knowledge of basic personal finance. While many of the respondents claim to be "well educated" academically, their paltry results certainly show what is lacking in many school curriculum. Sadly, the national average for FinancialLiteracyQuiz.com still hovers around a shocking 48%, yet 75% is barely considered passing. What's your score? Click here to take the quiz now.

Speaking Engagements:

Although my busy schedule and demanding responsibilities in my new telecom venture have greatly curtailed my availability for speaking engagements, I still very much enjoy the opportunity to interact with special select groups, like I did recently with over 200 energetic students at the University of Northern Colorado Monfort College of Business (UNC-MCB). If you are interested in having me speak to your school, group or company about entrepreneurship, business leadership, financial literacy or the secrets to success, please contact me with your event details, budget and date.

Frustrations from the Financial Literacy Front Lines:

Overall, I greatly enjoyed my work the past few years as a financial literacy advocate and trying to bring a new awareness to this sweeping epidemic, but the experience certainly did not come without its share of frustrations. As a hard-driving and successful entrepreneur from the private business sector, I am used to like-minded smart people working together as a team, and making swift decisions to achieve a common goal. Let's just say that the educational, non-profit and government sectors do not exactly work in the same manner - once you remove profit as a motive, all that seems to be left is turf (to fight over).

I decided to pursue the role of being a financial literacy advocate because it was, and still is, something that I am truly passionate about, and I felt that I could use my business experience and platform to truly make a difference and inspire the next generation - and I had the time and financial resources to do so following the sale of my last telecom business in 2004. I never had a profit or business model in mind with my financial literacy endeavor - I just wanted it to be sustainable and I did it solely because I felt it was the right thing to do. Yet, I was frequently characterized by many as a "carpetbagger," who was only out to promote their own self interest. This incorrect judgment and labeling by literally hundreds of groups that supposedly represented the interests of people who desperately need financial literacy education, only proved to deprive people from getting the help they needed.

It seemed as though every time I turned a corner, I ran into challenge and conflict in my attempt to promote the importance of financial literacy, both nationally and on a local level. Multiple well-known national groups and individuals, who are supposedly concerned about educating the next generation, either completely refused my offer of assistance (unless I simply wanted to write them a check and keep my mouth shut), or were wholly unresponsive to my multiple contact attempts. Even in my own community, the local university, school district and several non-profits aggressively attempted to ban my attendance at their taxpayer funded "Financial Literacy Summit" in 2008, and only after involving an attorney, was I begrudgingly granted limited access (and not a very warm welcome) under the "open meeting statute." I am still not sure if they were all afraid of the truth or just more concerned with protecting their own self interests, but this lack of cooperation is certainly not doing anything to benefit those who need better financial literacy. The cause needs more people working together towards a common goal, and I am generally a huge fan of effective public-private partnerships.

What I have unfortunately learned is that since there is no direct business model for financially literate consumers, there is very little incentive for anyone to actually promote it effectively. The mainstream media bombards us with sensational advertisements on how to spend money, and consumers are living in denial believing that they must keep up with the Joneses' to be accepted. The problem seems to be that there are so many groups (more than 100 at my last count) trying to do the same thing with financial literacy education, but they are all re-inventing the wheel on their own and have no interest in working together. This is only causing to dilute the message and the available resources. Personally, I feel there needs to me more collaboration, consistent communication, curriculum consolidation and general cooperation within the financial literacy community, in order to ultimately achieve success. The doctors have the AMA, the retirees have the AARP, the gun owners have the NRA - there needs to be a single voice like this for financial literacy instead of everyone trying to do their own thing.

While my attempts to bring "financial literacy awareness and education" to the masses was significantly less successful than I had hoped, the good news is that I was able to make a difference when working with smaller groups or individuals one-on-one. While certainly not as efficient, I will take what I can get. Consumers have become conditioned by the marketing sizzle of "get rich quick schemes" who have large advertising budgets and have the incorrect lure of a "simple system that shows you how to make lots of money quickly and without working" - nothing could be farther from the truth, but this is the message you need to use if you want to effectively reach the masses. Smaller groups are more interactive and allow for more realistic discussions.

I am still clueless as to why not every school in this country starts requiring and teaching financial literacy post-haste considering the lessons we have all learned from the current economic meltdown. For a variety of reasons, parents are not teaching financial literacy to their children. In America, schools are where we educate the next generation on subjects like math, English and science, but we do very little to prepare them for the real world (and it shows). Financial Literacy is a topic that will affect each and every one of us for the rest of our lives, regardless of age, income or occupation, so how can we NOT start teaching this NOW? Schools certainly have their own set of challenges, and everyone and their brother has their own pet project they think needs to get integrated into the curriculum, but I cannot think of anything that would be more beneficial at this point than financial literacy education, taught by qualified instructors.

Even with all of my frustration with pursuing financial literacy advocacy, I did meet a handful of other like minded individuals who are equally passionate about the cause and doing what they can to effect positive change. Here are just a few of my friends who I unconditionally support in their ongoing efforts to make America more financially literate in their own ways (it is interesting to note that all of these people are entrepreneurial and come from the private sector):

Vince Shorb - Founder of National Youth Financial Educators Council (NYFCE) and Creator of the Money X Live events, which effectively combines music and celebrities with teaching financial literacy.

John Hope Bryant - Chairman of OperationHOPE and member of the President's Financial Literacy Council.

Sharon Lechter - CPA, Co-Author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Entrepreneur and member of the President's Financial Literacy Council.

Larry Winget - The Pitbull of Personal Development, Engaging TV Personality and Author of 5 bestselling books. Larry tells it like it really is; no sugar coating.

Manisha Thakor - Harvard MBA and a fellow author who left a successful corporate career to be a personal finance expert on women and money.

Summary & Closing:

One thing is for sure: the need for financial literacy awareness and education still remains as great as ever. I only wish that I could have done more to make a difference, but hope that the efforts I put forth will make at least some small impact on the financial habits of those I was able to reach. It is with great appreciation that I take this opportunity to thank all of those who HAVE supported my efforts for the past several years. I also commend those who are truly committed to improving financial literacy for the next generation and you have my ongoing support, encouragement, gratitude and appreciation for all that you do.

If you want to still keep up with my activities, please visit BraunMincher.com or connect with me online on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

"Give a man a fish and he will not be hungry for a day; teach him how to fish and he will not be hungry for a lifetime." - Ancient Chinese Proverb


Braun Mincher, Financial Literacy Advocate
Executive Producer ~ Secrets of Money Movie: The Financial Illiteracy Epidemic Exposed
Author/Publisher ~ The Secrets of Money: A Guide for Everyone on Practical Financial Literacy
Creator/Speaker ~ FinancialLiteracyQuiz.com (What's Your Score?)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Documentary Film Joint Venture Opportunity

In 2009, we finished filming The Secrets of Money: Exposing America’s Financial Illiteracy Epidemic, and traveled across the country for 3 months – from New Hampshire to California, and everywhere in between – to film more than 100 interviews with a variety of real people, parents, students, educators, government officials, celebrities, personal finance experts and others. We have collected more than 120 raw hours of quality interviews, and are passionately committed to see this project through to completion. Unfortunately, some other business interests have taken priority, and this project was temporarily placed on hold, not allowing the time to personally finish this important production.

We are seeking a qualified joint venture partner to take the material and concept already created and “run with the ball” to get the production finished and taken to market. We would be open to contributing our content as project equity, simply selling the assets (approximately $75k invested), or some other form of JV. If you, or any of your associates, have the experience, resources and interest to explore such a relationship, please click here or contact us for more information.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Financial Literacy Update Newsletter

Greetings Friends,

Financial Literacy Advocate, Author and Documentary Filmmaker, Braun Mincher, here with a quick update on my ongoing Financial Literacy Initiative, aimed at bringing a new awareness to this important cause and getting such required classes taught at every high school in America. Why is Financial Literacy a more taboo topic than religion, politics or sex? With your continued help and perseverance, we will ultimately be successful in reversing the Financial ILLITERACY Epidemic in America!

I am not sure about you, but my summer seemed to come and go too quickly this year. I hope that this email finds you doing well, settling into your fall routines and getting ready for the coming holidays. I apologize for the delay since my last Financial Literacy update, but my focus has been with some other unrelated projects for the past few months. While I still remain extremely passionate and committed to the Financial Literacy cause, I unexpectedly returned to the telecom business back in June. While building a new business is a lot of work, I am again having fun while enjoying the opportunities and challenges of the private sector, and look forward to growing another successful entrepreneurial venture. Please visit the PCG Telecom website for more information about my involvement with this new endeavor.

Updates on Important Financial Literacy Topics:


Thousands of visitors per week continue to take my FREE and thought-provoking Financial Literacy Quiz to test their knowledge of basic personal finance. While many of the respondents claim to be "well educated" academically, the paltry results certainly show what is lacking in many school curriculum. Sadly, the national average for FinancialLiteracyQuiz.com still hovers around a shocking 49%, yet a score 75% is barely considered passing. What's your score? Click here to take the quiz now and share with your friends.

Book - "The Secrets of Money: A Guide for Everyone on Practical Financial Literacy"

My 426-page information packed book continues to do well and teaches readers of all ages what they really need to know about personal finance from a practical perspective that they can quickly and easily relate to. I have a simple system to show people how to make lots of money quickly, and without working -- psych! Knowledge is power, and that is what my book delivers in an engaging format. Amazon continues to offer the best price and it's never too early to think about useful holiday gifts for those you care about. Special quantity discounts are available for orders of 100+ for your school, club, association or company (private branding programs have become very popular). Please email us for details.

Documentary Movie Production

Earlier this year, we wrapped several months of nationwide filming for our shocking new documentary movie, Secrets of Money: The Financial Illiteracy Epidemic in America Exposed. We interviewed over 100 real people, students, educators, government officials, celebrities, personal finance experts and others (click here for the detailed list) to get their perspective on WHY schools teach math, English and science but not Financial Literacy? We have gathered over 120 hours of raw footage and are open to exploring opportunities to collaborate with an experienced joint venture partner to assist with the final production, marketing and distribution of the film. Please contact us for more information.

Financial Education Bill Introduced in U.S. Senate

In March, Senator Patty Murray [D-WA] introduced the "Financial and Economic Literacy Improvement Act of 2009," a bill to provide grants to promote financial and economic literacy. The bill was referred to the Senate Committee, and if passed, it will authorize up to $125 million in spending to create a program for three different grade levels, K-12, that will mandate standardized financial education as a core-competency class. In addition, another $125 million would be authorized for use in post-secondary education. We will keep you updated as this bill progresses.

Money X Live Event - Coming to Colorado in 2010!

While we had the opportunity to witness multiple financial education events as part of our documentary filming, one in particular stood out above the rest: Money X Live held in Anaheim, California at the end of February. The event is aptly described as "Entrepreneurship & Money Entertainment." As financial literacy advocates, whether we like it or not, we are competing for attention with the likes of MTV, American Idol and the X-Box. One of the most effective ways to get our message through is by using the same engaging pop culture marketing angles and making the content practical and relevant to their daily lives. Money X Live was far and above the most effective and successful way I have seen to promote Financial Literacy to the next generation, and they are scheduling more events for 2010, including a visit to Colorado on Saturday, April 17th. For more information, please contact promoter Vince Shorb at (714) 960-4665 or Vince@NYEFC.org.

Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter & YouTube

I have wholeheartedly embraced social networking and have found it to be a very effective and efficient means to communicate status updates on my various happenings (both personal and professional). If you want to be "in the know," please connect with me online:
Quotes from Personal Finance Experts

During the filming of our documentary movie, I made special note of the following memorable quotes from some of our interviewees:

Adam Carroll (Co-Author of "The Money Game"): "It takes about 3 years of constant action towards something before you begin to achieve the success you think you should."

John "Spider" Salley (NBA Superstar): "I don't read the sports section of the newspaper because it does not contain anything that helps my business."

Peter Bielagus (Young America's Financial Coach): "In America, you can have ANYTHING you want, just not EVERYTHING you want."

Rob Stumbaugh (Bank President): "The key to financial well-being is as follows: Same house, same spouse."

Chris Gardner (Entrepreneur & Movie Icon): "The person who is going to best look out for your financial well being does NOT live in the White House, he lives in YOUR house."

Sanyika Calloway Boyce (Financial Fitness Coach): "I did everything right academically, but everything wrong financially, so I turned my MESS into my MESSAGE."

Thank you to everyone for your continued support of this important nationwide Financial Literacy initiative. Please feel free to forward this email on to anyone else who may find it of interest, and visit BraunMincher.com for additional information, frequent updates and free Financial Literacy resources.

Braun Mincher, Financial Literacy Advocate
Creator/Speaker ~ FinancialLiteracyQuiz.com (What's Your Score?)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Quotes from Personal Finance Experts

During the filming of our documentary movie, on the topic of the Financial "Illiteracy" Epidemic in America, in early 2009, I noted the following memorable quotes from some of our interviewees, which I wanted to share. For more details, or video clips of the interviews, please visit: http://www.SecretsOfMoneyMovie.com. The quotes:

Adam Carroll (Co-Author of "The Money Game"): "It takes about 3 years of constant action towards something before you begin to achieve the success you think you should."

John "Spider" Salley (NBA Superstar): "I don't read the sports section of the newspaper because it does not contain anything that helps my business."

Peter Bielagus (Young America's Financial Coach): "In America, you can have ANYTHING you want, just not EVERYTHING you want."

Rob Stumbaugh (Bank President): "Young man, the key to financial freedom is as follows: same house, same spouse."

Chris Gardner (Entrepreneur & Movie Icon): "The person who is going to best lookout for your financial well being does NOT live in the White House, he lives in YOUR house."

Sanyika Calloway Boyce (Financial Fitness Coach): "I did everything right academically, but everything wrong financially, so I turned my MESS into my MESSAGE."

Monday, October 5, 2009

Financial Literacy Resources from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)

October 5-6, 2009 (Washington, D.C.)
The Second Annual Financial Literacy Leadership Conference, presented by the Society for Financial Education and Professional Development, Inc. brings together leaders in the field of financial literacy to develop effective strategies and partnerships to address pertinent issues.

October 7-10, 2009 (Washington, D.C.)
The Council for Economic Education, National Association of Economic Educators, and Global Association of Teachers of Economics holds its 2009 annual conference. The conference focuses on grades K-12 economic, personal finance, and entrepreneurship education.

October 10-17, 2009 (Throughout the state)
Money Smart Week Indiana events are designed for all ages and backgrounds and include topics on teaching children how to save as well as helping seniors manage their finances. Events are held throughout the state, and some will be offered or advertised in Spanish.

October 10-17, 2009 (Throughout the state)
Community groups, government agencies, financial advisers and businesses will attend Money Smart Week Wisconsin events to answer questions on how to handle finances and to teach children about handling money.

October 15, 2009 (Local Schools)
Get Smart About Credit Day is an annual event held in October when bankers visit local classrooms to share with students the ”credit facts of life." October 15, 2009 is the date of this year’s event, the seventh annual. The foundation hosts six free Webinars to review tips on using the Get Smart About Credit Day Resource Kit, planning an event, sharing best practices, and positioning the event for Community Reinvestment Act credit.

October 17-24, 2009
The National Foundation for Credit Counseling and the Council of Better Business Bureaus are sponsoring the second annual Protect Your Identity Week. During PYIW week, hundreds of identity theft protection events will be held in communities across the nation. At local events, consumers can take advantage of education workshops, the shredding of documents, and credit report reviews - - all free of charge and open to the public. A consumer Web site, in English and Spanish has been developed to highlight PYIW events and provide valuable identity theft awareness and prevention education.

October 21, 2009 (Washington, DC)
The Fall 2009 American Savings Education Council Partners Meeting will feature a presentation of the Stock Market Game, showing how the game boosts achievement in math and financial education, and a presentation of the proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency.

October 21-23, 2009 (Philadelphia, Pa.)
The Institute for Financial Literacy hosts the 2009 Annual Conference on Financial Education. The conference provides professional development opportunities for people working in the fields of financial literacy and education.

October 28, 2009 (Boston, Mass.)
The Massachusetts Financial Education Collaborative is holding a summit at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. The summit focuses on program information, coordination and delivery of financial education for young people (K-16), adults and seniors.

October/November 2009 (Boston, Mass.)
The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston presents the 2009 Reserve Cup Challenge to representative high schools - one from each New England state - to compete in a quiz show that tests students’ knowledge of financial matters, ranging from financial literacy to economics to personal finance.

November 4, 2009 (Lubbock, Texas)
The Texas Department of Banking provides hands-on training on three financial education curricula: the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas’s “Building Wealth,” the FDIC’s “Money Smart Program,” and JA Worldwide’s “Junior Achievement.”

November 6-8, 2009 (Washington, D.C.)
The Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy presents the first nationwide conference devoted entirely to personal finance education in grades K-12.

The FICO Mortgage Recovery Initiative is a comprehensive solution that meets the needs of Main Street and Wall Street. It follows the federal government’s Making Home Affordable guidelines. This program streamlines consumer loan applications and provides servicers with deep analytic solutions to help them work with their customers.

The Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians Field Operations, in partnership with First Nations Development Institute, conducted a train the trainer session at the National Indian Program Training Center to prepare Fiduciary Trust Officers to provide financial literacy training to trust beneficiaries throughout Indian Country. Training also has been conducted at Fort Berthold and Standing Rock.

The Maryland Coalition for Financial Literacy (MCFL) is an initiative to meet the urgent need for more financial education. The MCFL works with educational leadership groups, parents, the financial services industry, and others to find the best program for each of Maryland’s 24 public school systems as well as nonpublic high schools. The MCFL also works with partners to develop programs for adult constituencies such as employee groups, senior citizens, first-time homebuyers, and new immigrant groups.

Native American Bank (NAB) and the Native American Community Development Corporation (NACDC) have developed a “Mini-Bank” program, which the NACDC delivers to elementary schools located on Native American reservations in Montana, Idaho, and Colorado. The program allows Native American youth to enhance their financial literacy skills by actually opening a savings account with NAB and learning, in a school setting, the value of saving, and the power of compounded interest. A combined Mini-Bank and Land Education curriculum is now offered in collaboration with Indian Land Tenure Foundation.

The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) announced a new investor education initiative to equip millions of union and employee association members with the knowledge and skills they need to protect themselves from investment fraud. Through a new outreach program, “United Against Investment Fraud” (UAIF), NASAA is working with unions and employee associations to bring investor education to the workplace. The UAIF program teaches union members how to spot con artists and how to check the backgrounds of stock brokers and investment advisers.

President Barack Obama announced new Federal resources to make it easier for American families to save for retirement. These new IRS initiatives include guidance on saving for, and choosing retirement plans, including design options; expanding opportunities for automatic enrollment; making it easier to save tax refunds; showing how employees can save payments in their retirement plans they would receive for unused vacation or other similar leave; and helping employees and employers understand their tax-favored rollover and other savings options.

The University of Albany’s Center for Excellence in Aging Services presents the Senior Financial Literacy Training and Education Initiative. This program provides to seniors a basic understanding of financial literacy, risk factors for financial exploitation, and an understanding of social work roles focused on senior financial literacy.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) began a two-year pilot project to review affordable and responsible small dollar-loan programs in financial institutions. The pilot is a case study intended to identify effective and replicable business practices to help banks incorporate affordable small dollar loans into their other mainstream banking services. Resulting best practices from the pilot will be identified and will become a resource for other financial institutions.

The "Your Money Bus Tour" is a consumer outreach initiative that kicks off its second year on October 1, 2009. In each city, local financial advisors volunteer their time to meet with residents and answer their financial questions—free of charge, with no strings attached. The bus tour is strictly an educational event; a way to give back to the community and help residents with financial questions. This year, the organization plans to visit 25 cities across the U.S. The tour is sponsored by the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors Consumer Education Foundation (NAPFA), TD Ameritrade, Kiplingers Personal Finance Magazine and FiLife.com.

Building Your Future developed by The Actuarial Foundation helps students easily grasp the essentials of personal finance, gives them multiple opportunities to practice core skills and showcases the real-world impact of the financial decisions they make. Each chapter is classroom ready, with a Teacher's Guide that provides handouts and answer keys, instruction and assessment suggestions, definitions and resources that align with national mathematics and personal financial education standards.

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis offers Cards, Cars and Currency, a curriculum that challenges students to become involved in three specific areas of personal finance—credit cards, debit cards, and the purchasing of a car.

The Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship at the University of Delaware provides to teaching professionals knowledge, skills, and innovative curriculum to equip Delaware K-12 students with the economic, personal finance, and entrepreneurial foundations necessary to become informed, active participants in today’s world.

Consolidated Credit Counseling Services utilizes educational programs, professional counseling and money management instructions to establish a customized program that fits peoples needs.

Consumer Action is a nonprofit, membership-based organization that serves consumers nationwide by advancing consumer rights; referring consumers to complaint-handling agencies through a free hotline; publishing educational materials in Chinese, English, Korean, Spanish, Vietnamese, and other languages; and comparing prices on credit cards, bank accounts, and long distance services.

This summer, more than one million older Americans will be forced into the Part D “doughnut hole”—a coverage gap in Medicare’s program that leaves seniors liable for all of their own costs while still paying premiums. AARP is launching a new free online resource to help these and other older Americans avoid this dreaded coverage gap.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) offers EDIE the Estimator. This estimator can calculate your FDIC insurance coverage in each FDIC-insured bank where you have deposit accounts. EDIE lets you know, in a printable report for each bank, whether your deposits are within or exceed coverage limits.

American Consumer Credit Counseling’s Financial Fitness Center is an online resource offering an enormous amount information on personal money management. Web seminars, podcasts, tips of the week, calculators, worksheets, resource articles, links and more are provided to help consumers better manage their money. Information is available free-of-charge.

The Financial Security for All Community of Practice (COP) is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service chat programs that consist of monthly personal finance topics. Upcoming topics of discussion are Tips for Happy Holidays without Financial Hangover (October 29, 2009) and Promoting Positive Financial Behavioral Change (November 19, 2009).

FINRA Investor Education Foundation provides support for innovative research and educational projects aimed at segments of the investing public. Through grants, researchers explore investor behavior and develop practical ways to avoid costly mistakes and ensure that reliable financial and investor education is available to all who need it. It also sponsors SaveAndInvest.org, a free service that provides financial education tools for military families and older investors (aged 55 years or older) as well as additional investor resources.

The Institute for Financial Literacy is a nonprofit organization that assists its clients directly with programs in financial counseling, financial education, and bankruptcy-related services.

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis offers “It’s Your Paycheck,” a curriculum designed for use in high school personal finance classes. This curriculum is made up of three sections—"Know Your Dough," "KaChing!" and "All About Credit." The lessons in each section employ teaching strategies to engage students so that they can apply the concepts being taught.

The Maryland Council on Economic Education provides individualized assistance to develop a curriculum that includes economic and financial instruction and to develop assessments to measure learning. It also offers free teacher workshops and courses to prepare instructors to teach the content lesson plans and other classroom materials. The curriculum includes programs and seminars are available for adults and community groups. Other programs include the Maryland-DC Stock Market Game™, a poster contest for students in grades 1 through 8 and the Maryland Economics Challenge competition for high school students.

Money Savvy Generation develops innovative products to help parents, educators, and others teach the skills of basic personal finance. Currently, this program is taught in school districts in 27 states and the District of Columbia.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City has developed a new role play, “Payment Parliament,” an interactive way for students to enhance their reading skills while learning about key financial concepts. This program is targeted toward students in grades 5 through 8 and covers different payment methods available to consumers.

The National Credit Union Foundation’s “Right at Home: Financial Answers for Home Ownership,” informs people on how to keep their home in tough economic times. Free and objective information, tips, and resources are provided for those who are falling behind in their mortgage payments but want to work out a plan to stay in their home or to move without foreclosure. Information focuses on finding a mortgage loan that fits your budget, protecting your credit rating, avoiding fraud, and creating a budget to manage your money.

Saving Our Futures: A Financial Responsibility Program for Young People is an online curriculum that teaches young people in middle school and high school financial responsibility and methods for advocating for smarter money management in their homes, communities, and from elected officials. The curriculum is a program of the America’s Promise Alliance.

Smart Borrower provides to people the information they need to make smart decisions about borrowing money for a home, car, college education, or other high-cost items or services. LendingTree created this online resource to make personal finance information easy to find, easy to understand, and easy to act on.

The Stock Market Game is a program of the SIFMA Foundation for Investor Education received results from a rigorous evaluation study conducted by Learning Point Associates with a grant from the FINRA Foundation that show students who play The Stock Market Game outperform their peers in mathematics and financial literacy. According to the independent evaluation team, the gains are substantial at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. In addition, teachers reported that the program influenced their own financial practices.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City has developed a new role play, “There’s No Business Like Bank Business,” an interactive way for students to enhance their reading skills while learning about key financial concepts. This program targets students in grades 3 through 5 and introduces the workings of a bank and the benefits of saving money in one.

What to Do if You’ve Lost Your Job is presented by AARP. It provides people with a checklist of suggestions on immediate steps to take together with longer term ideas for dealing with this new situation.

Wi$eUp is a financial education program designed for Generation X and Y Women. It was developed by the U.S. Department of Labor Women's Bureau in support of the Department of Labor's Strengthening the Family Initiative.

The Women’s Institute for Financial Education (WIFE) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing financial education to women in their quest for financial independence. WIFE offers reviews of personal finance books and features articles on personal finance topics, online video clips, and archived WIFE e-newsletters—all designed to improve the financial expertise of women.

HSBC Bank developed Your Money Counts.com, a comprehensive online learning resource that helps people understand finances and make informed financial choices. This online guide to financial and credit education provides people with interactive calculators, information on current money issues, in-depth information on specific money topics, financial education booklets, and quizzes to test their financial knowledge.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

PBS to Air 2 TV Specials on Financial Literacy - TOMORROW (Wednesday, September 9, 2009)

Per Laura Levine, Executive Director of the National Jump$tart Coalition for Financial Literacy in Washington, DC:

Just a reminder that tomorrow evening (Wednesday, September 9, 2009), most PBS stations will air two new special TV segments that address timely Financial Literacy issues:
  1. Sesame Workshop will present "Families Stand Together: Feeling Secure in Tough Times," a program designed to help families with young children communicate during time of economic insecurity. The program is hosted by Al Roker, Deborah Roberts, and Elmo; featuring Jump$tart friend Jean Chatzky. Scheduled to air on PBS at 8 PM Eastern (check your local listings). Click here for more information and to be linked to their website.

  2. "Your Life, Your Money" produced by Jump$tart national partner, WNED Buffalo/Toronto, and hosted by Donald Faison, star of "Scrubs." Your Life, Your Money is aimed at young adults who want to get their financial lives on track. It features a number of financial experts, including Jump$tart friends Michelle Singletary and Beth Kobliner. Scheduled to air on PBS at 9 PM Eastern (check your local listings). Click here for more information and to be linked to their website.
Each of these websites will offer ongoing financial education resources. Be sure to tune in to watch live or set your DVR to record it!