Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Making Your Money Smarter

As a degree-carrying English Major, I know how hard it is to understand the world of finance.

But it's important to get the low-down on money management, financial vehicles and other investments. Face it: You can only save so much by clipping coupons. It's important to make your coupon-clipping dollars work for you through smart investments. And no one is going to watch over your money with the same amount of attention that you will.

Because of a career choice, I was prompted to learn about the world of finance. I read the Wall Street Journal everyday and Barron's every Sunday with a cafe latte as a treat. Those publications and others finanacial periodicals really explained many of the major and minor financial terms. I also made a point of talking to financial gurus in informal--non-sales!!!!--settings. People love to talk and I learned to listen.

There are also many non-profit investment websites with great information.

The following release also has some interesting thoughts about money and personal responsibility.


"A recently published national study commissioned by financial brokerage firm Edward Jones shows that, while employer-provided financial education may be on the rise, more than 35 percent of working Americans still feel they are lacking the proper education to manage their own retirement portfolios.

The number skews higher for part-time, lower income or non-college educated workers. Across the board, only 25 percent of American workers find their employer to be “extremely helpful” in providing information at work that will help in retirement planning.

Among the other key findings from the survey conducted by Kelton Research:

▪ Almost half (48 percent) of those surveyed with annual household incomes of less than $25,000 agree that their employers are not helpful in retirement planning.

▪ Those who work part time are 21 percent more likely to agree that their employers fall into the unhelpful category.

▪ Those with more education are getting more help. Nearly two-thirds of those with college degrees agree that their employers are at least “somewhat helpful” in helping them plan for retirement.

The study of 1,000 American workers attempted to better understand the financial educational landscape as more employees are forced to manage and care for their retirement funds.

“These results clearly suggest that employers must do more to arm their employees with the education necessary to manage their financial futures,” said Ken King, partner in charge of the Edward Jones employee education department.

King pointed out that the issue impacts a broad cross section of employees, regardless of the type of retirement plan the company offers.

"It doesn't matter if the company plan is defined benefit or defined contribution, employees need to take a more active role in managing retirement funds. Without the proper education, many Americans could wind up squandering vital resources they will need in retirement,” King said.

About Edward Jones

Edward Jones provides investment advice and financial services for individual investors in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Every aspect of the company’s business, from the types of investment options offered to the location of branch offices, is designed to cater to the individual investor in the communities in which they live and work.

Edward Jones is headquartered in St. Louis, Mo."

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