Students, workers taught to invest in future
By Eric Heyl
Published: Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Most high school students probably aren't thinking about how to pay their retirement costs.
Yet that doesn't mean that school districts such as Franklin Regional in Murrysville aren't planting the thought in their minds.
With defined contribution pension plans continuing to vanish and Social Security facing an uncertain future, 401(k) type plans are gaining greater emphasis. Because the success of those programs rests largely in the investing savvy of participants, a number of businesses, colleges and high schools are ramping up investment education offerings.
“What we're trying to do is plant the seeds, so students at least begin to think about investing, savings accounts and the cost of living,” Franklin Regional spokesperson Shelley Shaneyfelt said. “We want to get them to think about taking those beginning steps they need to take to becoming financially secure.”
Franklin Regional uses a financial literacy outreach program co-sponsored by Duquesne University and the CFA Society of Pittsburgh. Instruction offered to some upperclassmen at the seminars includes how to diversify an investment portfolio.
“We're in our fourth year of doing this, and we usually do between 10 and 15 presentations a year,” said Thomas Nist, director of graduate studies and Donahue Chair in Investment Management in the Donahue School of Business. “The schools have been very receptive.”
Duquesne's business school investment center exposes students to technologies that investment professionals use. Investment management majors oversee Red and Blue Partners, a university investment fund that seeks to outperform the Russell 2000 Index, which measures the performance of about 2,000 small-cap companies.
Similar offerings are available at the University of Pittsburgh, whose business school in August provided $100,000 in investment funds to students in the Socially Responsible Investment Club. Assistant Business Administration professor Jay W. Sukits, who founded the club in 2007, said it is “set up as an education experience, one that future employers also find very attractive.”
Duquesne, Pitt and Robert Morris University are among employers who offer workers investment education options. In 2011, Robert Morris hired a retirement plan services firm to provide group and individual investment education to its 500 employees.
“Some of the group topics that have been offered include strategies for sustainable income in retirement (and) investing in your children's future,” said Lori A. Carnvale, RMU director of employee benefits and payroll. Topics covered in monthly individual sessions include customized investment allocations, navigating investment vendor websites and investment sustainability.
The Washington-based nonprofit Investor Protection Institute recently tested an investor education program on nearly 8,500 employees in workplaces in Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Wisconsin. It significantly improved participants' investment knowledge based on pre- and post-program testing, institute President Don Blandin said.
Blandin believes his program's future is bright.
“It's extremely effective and easy to implement,” he said. “It will continue to grow and provide a rich financial and investment education experience that delivers excellent results.”
Eric Heyl is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7857 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Health-insurance mandate poses potential hitch for volunteer fire companies
- Pace of enrollments on Healthcare.gov more than double, government says
- Gas drilling spill cited in lawsuit not reported to state
- PNC plans to do away with tellers
- Maximize tax deductions with charitable gift
- IKEA recalls millions of children’s lamps
- Education Management Corp. suit settled for $3.4 million
- Poll shows strong opposition to in-flight calls
- Czech brewer gets Budweiser trademark
- Sales of Xbox One units top 2 million in first 18 days
- Traditional office holiday parties ditched