WASHINGTON, Sept. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A total of 308 public libraries and other locations in 12 states and jurisdictions – Alaska, California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico and Virginia – took part in the 2016 DASH for the STASH investor education and protection program and contest conducted by the Investor Protection Institute (IPI) and state securities agencies.
The unique, "scavenger hunt"-like contest attracted an estimated 3,200 individuals at participating locations who learned and then were quizzed about key investing topics: financial fraud, building a nest egg, selecting financial advisers, and the cost of investment fees. From the total pool of more than 800 people submitting completed responses, 12 individuals providing correct answers – one in each participating jurisdiction – were randomly selected to receive $1,000 IRA contributions.
The 2016 DASH for the STASH campaign expanded on the original, one-state pilot program in 2014 in the state of Iowa. The 2016 DASH for the STASH effort doubled the six states and jurisdictions that participated in 2015. There also was a significant increase this year in the number of completed entries, from fewer than 500 in 2015 to more than 800 in 2016. In another important step forward, some of the DASH for the STASH locations in 2016 offered the posters in Spanish and/or Chinese in addition to English as part of the IPI's partnership with Consumer Action (http://www.consumer-action.org).
In addition to IPI, the scaled-up 2016 program involved the efforts of the Alaska Division of Banking and Securities, the California Department of Business Oversight, the Connecticut Department of Banking, the District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking, the Florida Office of Financial Regulation Securities Division, the Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White's Securities Department, the Iowa Insurance Division, the Kentucky Department of Financial Institutions, the Office of the Missouri Secretary of State, the Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance, the New Mexico Securities Division, and the Virginia Division of Securities and Retail Franchising.
IPI President and CEO Don Blandin said: "We have received positive feedback from participants and are pleased that they are so excited to share the information with their family, friends and other members of their communities. Staying true to our mission of educating individuals to be wise and safe investors, the DASH program has proven to be an effective way to engage communities in multiple jurisdictions and provide an opportunity for them to learn and share information in trusted environments such as public libraries, educational institutions, community organizations and workplaces where they have access to additional resources. We look forward to being an educational resource for all of the DASH participants in the future."
The 12 winners, ranging in age from 18-61, of $1,000 IRA fund contributions are:
- Alaska. A 29-year-old man who played at Anchorage Public Library in Anchorage, AK said: "My wife and I are always trying to learn more about finances, and the DASH for the STASH scavenger hunt was a fun, quick way to get useful information."
- California. A 61-year-old woman who played at the Belvedere Tiburon Library in Tiburon, CA said: "As I near retirement, I am particularly motivated to learn everything I can about investing, and the DASH for the STASH contest posters contained excellent information in a lively and easily-digested format."
- Connecticut. A 22-year-old man who played at the Simsbury Public Library in Simsbury, CT said: "I liked participating because the seminar that was offered at the library as part of the DASH program was interesting and I learned the importance of investing early and wisely."
- District of Columbia. A 49-year-old man who played at the Georgetown Neighborhood Library in Washington, D.C. said: "What I liked about participating in the DASH program was discovering that there are straight-forward, easy, and unbiased ways (via the posters) to educate more people about their own personal finances."
- Florida. A 43-year-old man who played at Okaloosa Saves in Crestview, FL said: "The posters were very informative. It is always good to get a refresher on investing."
- Illinois. A 54-year-old woman who played at the Poplar Creek Public Library in Streamwood, IL said: "This is the second year that Poplar Creek Public Library has participated in the DASH for the STASH program and the second year I have participated. The contest is educational and enjoyable – finding the answers to the quiz within the posters. It's a nice addition to Money Smart Week and Financial Literacy Month."
- Iowa. An 18-year-old woman who played at Eagle Grove High School in Eagle Grove, IA said: "I never thought I would be planning for retirement while still in high school. I'm so glad I got this opportunity."
- Kentucky. A 53-year-old man who played at South Central Kentucky Community and Technical College in Bowling Green, KY said: "I haven't always done things right when saving for retirement, and the DASH for the STASH information made some complex ideas clear and easy to understand."
- Missouri. A 54-year-old woman who played at Jefferson County Library – Arnold in Arnold, MO said: "I found this to be a fun educational contest that was easy to play with my QR reader on my phone. It was like taking an open book quiz. Simply point, scan and answer the questions correctly. Then I hit send after each quiz and crossed my fingers."
- Nebraska. A 40-year-old woman who played at Bellevue Public Library in Bellevue, NE said: "I like that I could enter the contest while learning how to better manage my money, all during the weekly visit to the library with my kids!"
- New Mexico. A woman in her 50s who played at the Embudo Valley Library in Dixon, NM said: "Participating in the DASH for the STASH program was an educational opportunity to help me become more proactive about my retirement needs."
- Virginia. A 26-year-old woman who played at Pamunkey Regional Library - Atlee Branch in Mechanicsville, VA said: "I enjoyed the DASH for the STASH because the questions were very informative but also did not take terribly long to answer. With it being so efficient, it seemed silly not to read over the poster and find the answers."
ABOUT THE INVESTOR PROTECTION INSTITUTE
The Investor Protection Institute (http://www.iInvest.org) is an independent nonprofit organization that advances investor protection by conducting and supporting unbiased research and groundbreaking education programs. IPI serves as an independent source of unbiased and non-commercial investor education and protection materials.
ABOUT PARTICIPATING STATE SECURITIES AGENCIES
The Alaska Division of Banking and Securities (https://www.commerce.alaska.gov/web/dbs) regulates state depository and non-depository financial institutions, administers and enforces Alaska's financial services laws, and provides information to consumers, investors, entrepreneurs and the financial services industry. The division includes three sections that administer 12 statutory programs. In addition to licensing, examination and enforcement duties, division staff answer inquiries, investigate and resolve complaints, and contribute to education and outreach activities.
The California Department of Business Oversight (http://www.dbo.ca.gov) protects consumers and oversees financial service providers and products. The DBO supervises the operations of state-licensed financial institutions, including banks, credit unions and money transmitters. Additionally, the DBO licenses and regulates a variety of financial service providers, including securities brokers and dealers, investment advisers, payday lenders and other consumer finance lenders.
The Connecticut Department of Banking (http://www.ct.gov/dob) protects users of financial services across a wide range of industries from banking to securities and investments, as well as multiple consumer credit businesses. The Department requires regulated entities and individuals to follow applicable laws, assures the safety and soundness of state-chartered banks and credit unions, and educates the public and other stakeholders to safeguard their own financial condition.
The District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (http://disb.dc.gov) regulates financial services businesses in the District by administering the city's insurance, securities and banking laws. DISB also licenses and monitors investment advisers and their representatives and broker-dealers and their agents, and reviews certain public securities offerings in the District of Columbia, independently or in conjunction with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The Florida Office of Financial Regulation Securities Division (http://www.flofr.com/StaticPages/DivisionOfSecurities.htm) regulates the sale of securities in, to or from Florida by firms (securities dealers, issuer dealers and investment advisers), branch offices and individuals affiliated with these firms to determine compliance with Florida law. The Bureau of Registration processes and evaluates applications for firms and individuals seeking registration to conduct business in Florida. The Bureau of Enforcement conducts examinations of registered securities dealers, investment advisers, branch offices and associated persons to determine compliance with the Securities and Investor Protection Act.
The Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White's Securities Department (http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/securities) is responsible for the regulation of the securities industry in Illinois and protection of investors by ensuring compliance with the law and investigating any complaints of fraud or improper practices.
The Iowa Insurance Division (http://www.iid.iowa.gov) supervises all insurance business transacted in the state. The insurance commissioner oversees companies and individuals in the sale of insurance in Iowa and has general control over all aspects of their business, from the forms they use to the rates they charge. The Insurance Division also has statutory authority in its Securities Bureau over many activities related to the sale of securities and other regulated products in the state.
The Kentucky Department of Financial Institutions (http://www.kfi.ky.gov) is the Kentucky state agency responsible for the supervision of the financial services industry and for chartering, licensing and registering various financial institutions, securities firms and professionals operating in Kentucky. In order to accomplish its mission, DFI conducts examinations on state-regulated financial industries through its Division of Depository Institutions, Division of Nondepository Institutions and Division of Securities.
The Office of the Missouri Secretary of State (http://www.sos.mo.gov/securities), through the Securities Division, is responsible for protecting Missouri investors from fraud and for ensuring firms and individuals selling securities comply with the securities laws in the state. The Commissioner of Securities leads the Securities Division and enforces the Missouri Uniform Securities Act, which is Missouri's Blue Sky Law. The Securities Division is organized into three sections: investor education, enforcement, and registration.
The Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance (http://www.ndbf.ne.gov/index.shtml) was created by Nebraska legislators to regulate state-chartered banks and other financial industries within the state. In 1939, regulation of state securities laws was also placed under the jurisdiction of the Department of Banking. Today, the Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance regulates and supervises various financial industries on behalf of the State of Nebraska and its residents.
The New Mexico Securities Division (http://www.rld.state.nm.us/securities-division) encourages and protects the market for capital in New Mexico. It accomplishes this goal by licensing stock brokers and investment advisers whose business is to assist and advise investors; reviewing and approving some types of investment opportunities before issuers raise capital to insure compliance with the law; discovering, stopping, and prosecuting those who violate the laws governing investment capital, or who commit fraud; and educating New Mexicans about the proper ways of raising investment capital, and about the risks associated with investments.
The Virginia Division of Securities and Retail Franchising (http://www.scc.virginia.gov/srf/index.aspx) is responsible for the regulation of securities, broker-dealers, broker-dealer agents, investment advisers and their representatives. It is also responsible for the registration of franchises and trademarks in Virginia. The Division answers inquiries, provides investor education programs, handles complaints, performs audits, and conducts investigations regarding code violations relating to securities and retail franchising.
EDITOR'S NOTE: To see DASH for the STASH poster content, go to http://www.iinvest.org/programs/dash-for-the-stash.
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SOURCE Investor Protection Institute (IPI), Washington, D.C.