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Flash-Powered Game Illustrates Consequences of Money Decisions

WASHINGTON, D.C.///April 18, 2001/// The 22-member Alliance for Investor Education (AIE) today unveiled a state-of-the-art Web game, "How I Saved for My Summer Vacation," at www.investoreducation.org in order to help youths known as "'tweens" (aged 10-12) learn how to save for their goals and to comprehend the disappointments that can result from not setting aside money.

The Flash-powered game created for the non-profit AIE features a family saving $450 at the rate of $75 a month. The family starts setting aside money in January in anticipation of going to the beach in July, but will only reach their goal if they actually manage to save the minimum amount. As the calendar in the game progresses, youthful players must decide in both March and June if they want to keep saving, make money or spend some of their savings on such things as music concerts and the circus. When July rolls around, the family either gets to go on vacation or is stuck in the backyard at home, depending on the youth's decisions. At the end of the game, the player is given the option of either starting over and seeing the consequences of other saving choices or moving on to the Alliance's best youth-oriented savings information.

"The Alliance's new Web site game is designed to help make the importance and benefits of savings something that a 10-12 year old can understand and in terms that may help shape the choices they make as adults," said Michael D. Jones, president of AIE and executive vice president and chief administrative officer for the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. (NASD, Inc). "We are focusing on 'tweens' because you can't use the same savings message for kindergarteners, 10-12 year olds and late teens. These are very different audiences that must be approached differently. "We believe that, in playing this game, 'tweens and even adults will realize how important it is today to have a personal financial plan or goal in place."

Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy Executive Director Dara Duguay commented: "All young adults need to have the financial literacy necessary to make informed financial decisions. We support all efforts to educate kids so that they understand the importance of saving and investing before they become entrenched in bad money habits that can last a lifetime."

The Flash-powered savings game for young people is the latest feature on the non-profit Web site that showcases more than 100 investor education resources from members of the Alliance, which include such leading organizations as the Investment Company Institute, the Securities Industry Association, the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. and the American Association of Individual Investors. The Web site already features the popular "AIE Kid's Savings Calculator," which is designed to show how much teens could save over time if they banked or deposited money they would otherwise spend on such items as CDs and sneakers.

"How I Saved for My Summer Vacation" was designed for the Alliance for Investor Education by The Hastings Group of Arlington, Va., and InkSpot Media of Arlington, VA. Design and content input was provided by representatives of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Securities Industry Foundation for Economic Education, the Jump$tart Financial Literacy Coalition and the National Futures Association. The Flash game includes a total of nine different paths from which children may choose and is designed to be played in less than two minutes.


The Alliance for Investor Education Web site at www.investoreducation.org provides investors with access to a full range of information they need to make wise investment decisions. Dedicated to facilitating a greater understanding of investment basics, the Alliance for Investor Education was established in 1996 as a coalition of leading financial services industry and investor advocacy groups.

The entire investment community is represented in AIE's membership ranks. Full members of the Alliance include: The American Association of Individual Investors, The American Stock Exchange, Association for Investment Management and Research, Bank Securities Association, Bond Market Association, Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Financial Planning Association, Futures Industry Institute, Investment Company Institute, Investor Protection Trust, National Association of Investors Corporation, NASD, National Futures Association, National Investor Relations Institute, the New York Stock Exchange, Securities Industry Association, Securities Investor Protection Corporation, and the Security Traders Association.

The SEC Office of Investor Education and Assistance, the Federal Trade Commission Bureau of Consumer Protection, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and the North American Securities Administrators Association are among the government and quasi-governmental advisors to the Alliance.

CONTACT: Ailis Aaron Wolf, (703) 276-3265 or .


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