Focus on Funds

Young Investors Learn Investing Basics Through ICI Game

Thousands of middle-school students in the DC area are using an innovative and playful approach to learn the importance of saving and investing. ICI Education Foundation Vice President Tina Kilroy describes the effort in the November 4, 2016, edition of Focus on Funds.


Stephanie Ortbals-Tibbs, ICI Director, Media Relations: ICI is well-known as the global trade body for funds and their investors, but what’s not as well-known is its innovative work in financial education for young people. Here’s more on the work of the ICI Education Foundation [ICIEF] from its vice president, Tina Kilroy.

Tina Kilroy, Vice President, ICI Education Foundation: The ICI Education Foundation has been developing and promoting investor-education materials for a long time, focusing on the DC area. One of our more successful programs has been with Junior Achievement of Greater Washington.

[Footage of students viewing ICIEF materials at Junior Achievement’s Finance Park facility in Prince George’s County, Maryland.]

They have a program called “Finance Park” that targets middle-school students in the DC area. Through this program, we’ve been able to reach tens of thousands of middle-school students a year with our investor-education materials.

Ortbals-Tibbs: Building on this success, you’re building this program out further.

Kilroy: It’s really a great opportunity for us to grow with Junior Achievement. They had one Finance Park location in the DC area, and they’ve since expanded to two, so we’ve had the opportunity to grow with them and reach tens of thousands of more students every year through this program.

Ortbals-Tibbs: One of the really compelling things about setting these up in the Washington, DC, area is that it is such a diverse community—so you’re reaching people from all backgrounds with the message about saving and investing.

Kilroy: The DC area is such a big and diverse area, and students will have an opportunity through this program to really learn, and get maybe their first look at investing over their lifetime.

Ortbals-Tibbs: So, the experience these young people have is through a game—and a game a lot of us might be familiar with.

Kilroy: Yeah. We’ve actually been able to integrate into the tablet that the students use during the day. We’ve created a scavenger hunt game that they can play on the tablet, and they have to hunt for the answers in our exhibit, which are giant exhibits on the walls at the Finance Park locations.

[Footage of students viewing ICIEF materials at Junior Achievement’s Finance Park facility in Prince George’s County, Maryland.]

Ortbals-Tibbs: And so, the message of your game is that, just like real life, things don’t always go according to plan, and that’s ok.

Kilroy: Yeah. Just like life, you have your ups and downs, and the “Game of Life” idea really captures that. They might hit some winding roads, and some risks and bumps along the way. Really, our big idea and our main point is that for your lifetime and your financial goals over your lifetime, investing is really the best way to achieve them.

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