Delivering Investor Education in a Changing World

The ICI Education Foundation (ICIEF), since its founding more than 30 years ago, has sought to advance investor education and to promote saving and investing. While ICIEF’s mission has stayed steadfast throughout its history, the foundation’s initiatives have taken a more local focus on the Washington, DC, metropolitan area in recent years.

Support for Tomorrow’s Leaders

ICIEF announced its partnership with the Toigo Foundation, which fosters underrepresented talent in the finance industry, in April 2019 and was proud to see its grant funding support two master of business administration candidates who plan to use their grants to support their education and professional development. ICIEF continued its partnership with the Toigo Foundation during the 2020 fiscal year and has begun a five-year, $100,000 commitment to support its important efforts to prepare and advance diverse leaders, as well as its encouragement for firms to build a culture of inclusion where all can thrive.

Commitment for Established Partnerships

For a 10th year, ICIEF partnered with Junior Achievement of Greater Washington to support its Finance Park program, which teaches students real-world lessons through experiential education. The program reaches approximately 40,000 middle school students each academic year with a personal finance curriculum and a one-day visit to Finance Park, where students are challenged to balance a household budget. ICIEF contributes to the investor education of the interactive Finance Park experience with its Investing Road Trip exhibit and scavenger hunt.

Building on the essential investing topics introduced in the Investing Road Trip, ICIEF also produced a yearlong ICI Viewpoints series to mark its 30th anniversary year. Each month’s blog post examined a different concept essential to successful investing—such as risk, diversification, compound returns, fees and expenses, and saving for retirement.

Figure 1

As part of ICIEF’s 30th anniversary celebration, ICIEF shared a series of blog posts explaining basic investing concepts, drawn from the ICIEF Investing Road Trip.

Opportunity for New Engagement

As pandemic-related shutdowns began to affect schools and businesses in the spring of 2020, ICIEF was finalizing funding for a new grant to the Maryland Council on Economic Education (MCEE) to help further the ability of teachers to offer financial education in Prince George’s County, Maryland.

The grant funds an intensive program designed for 15 teachers, including in-depth lessons on investor education, personal finance, and teaching strategies. The cohort of teachers, who took the virtual training in August and September, will in turn apply the skills and strategies they learned to their students’ coursework on saving and investing.

As an investment in DC-area teachers, and ultimately the thousands of students they will reach throughout their careers, this intensive teacher training embodies the spirit of ICIEF’s mission to promote investor education and ICI’s commitment to its local community.