Financial Literacy Week at the New York Stock Exchange

 

Happy Financial Literacy Month!  Given who we are, financial literacy, and financial capability more broadly, are a key focus of NYSE Euronext’s corporate responsibility program throughout the year – in our volunteer work, our philanthropy, and in our work with our companies. April 11-15, we will host our 2nd annual Financial Literacy Week at the New York Stock Exchange.  The week will include the launch of an innovative new toolkit for companies to use to increase the financial fitness of their employees, an effort to coordinate and amplify the great work many of our listed companies are doing to increase financial empowerment in our communities, and a number of events and special bell-ringings to highlight companies and organizations making important contributions in this field.  Check back here for details and updates on the individual events as the week unfolds.  For now, a few coming highlights.

As we looked at where we could contribute the most, we focused our efforts on workplace financial fitness – an area that experts agree needs a great deal of work, and where we have an incredible resource – our vast network of leading companies. Last year, we launched our Moneysense website to provide a trusted site where employers could direct their employees or anyone could come directly.  This year, we realized that we could do even more to help our companies financially empower their employees.  Workplace financial fitness, in most companies, means little more than a 401(k) seminar.  But the Financial Literacy Center, which includes many of the nation’s leading experts in this area, received funding and assistance from the NYSE Euronext Foundation with a project to address this unmet need.  We will launch the first phase of the results this week.  And it promises to be an invaluable, innovative, and easy-to-use resource for any company – whether they are looking to establish, build or improve their workplace financial fitness programs.  We will have the experts at the NYSE for an event on Tuesday to make the business case for workplace financial fitness, and talk about what makes a program effective.  There are still some spots available, so get in touch with us right away if you’d like more information about this event.  [email Lydia Doll at ldoll@nyx.com]

Another highlight will be on Thursday, when we will be filming a “virtual field trip” with Discovery Education at the NYSE.  Tell all your teacher friends to register here.  This educational “field trip” will be filmed live and allow students from around the country and the world to “take” tour of the floor of the NYSE, learn about the history of NYSE and about finance and financial markets, and have a live Q and A session with our CEO, Duncan Niederauer.  In addition, to help kids think about their futures, “kid reporters” will interview executives from NYSE Euronext and Discovery Education, as well as a broker.  And these “kid reporters” are real starts themselves – more to come on that!  The program provides pre- and post- work for teachers to do with their students, and in addition to the growing live audience, the field trip will be available after the event for teachers as well on both the NYSE Euronext website and Discovery Education’s.  As of Friday, we had over 1000 classrooms registered (about 25,000 students) from all 50 states and as far away as Korea and Japan.

Also on Thursday, we will run a workshop on “Financial Capability in Our Communities: Collaboration Across Sectors.” Empowering individuals with the financial knowledge and skills they need to build more secure financial futures requires collaboration among the non-profit, government and private sectors.  Many companies in the NYSE Euronext community are doing great and innovative work in this area, often in unique partnerships with non-profits.  At this forum leaders from these companies and non-profits will share their successes in using collaboration to find innovative approaches to improve financial capability. There are some amazing programs that will be discussed. If you would like more information or are interested in attending, please contact us immediately.  [email Lydia Doll at ldoll@nyx.com]

The whole week is filled with terrific events, so stop back here often for details and updates.  And, if you just want to learn more about the challenges that we face as a nation, I think two of the most reliable, informative sources, which both came out about 18 months ago, but still give a good sense of  the work that needs to be done: FDIC National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households and the FINRA Foundation’s National Financial Capability Study.

Finally, throughout the month of April, I will be doing financial capability blogs – raising issues, highlighting great programs, even explaining the difference between financial literacy and financial capability.  If you have any topics or questions you’d like to see addressed, please let me know! 

I will also be at the BCCC 2011 International Corporate Citizenship Conference, and I will be blogging from there as well.  See you in Minneapolis!