UWM: AARP Study Discovers Growing Need For Investor Education Programs

MILWAUKEE–Americans aged 45 and older, an economic force responsible for more than half U.S. consumer spending, often lack the skills and information to make good financial decisions, according to a study released Thursday, May 6.

The American Association of Retired People says in its “Report to the Nation on Consumers in the Marketplace” that older Americans often feel overwhelmed when confronted with tasks such as choosing a health care provider or selecting investments for a retirement account or sorting through telephone service options.

The report recommends several steps to improve the lot of older consumers, including improving consumer information with understandable disclosures; expanding programs to improve financial literacy; and providing better banking and credit services for low-income, minority and elderly communities.

Paul Haussman is the Director of the Center for Investor Education at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Continuing Education. “I’m not at all surprised at the results of this study,” he says. “The world of financial management is something that becomes more complex almost on a daily basis.

“People easily can become confused and frustrated trying to do what’s best for them. With so many options, it’s difficult to know how best to create as secure a plan as possible,” Haussman explains. “Among other things, the study encourages a stronger level of financial literacy, and that is one of the primary areas of focus for our programs.”

The UWM Center for Investor Education is a resource for programs that deliver accessible, objective, current information and analysis. Its instructors are experienced professionals who distill the complexities of the investment world into understandable, sensible terms and concepts.

Haussman says that center programs help people become better informed and more confident in managing their investments. “Our courses cover such basic issues as mutual funds, stocks and bonds and general information about the securities industry,” he notes.

The Center for Investor Education offers comprehensive courses, overview courses and sessions on current topics. Examples include “Beyond the Mutual Fund – Not Just for the Rich Anymore,” “Long Term Care Insurance,” “Understanding Financial Statements,” and “How to Evaluate Mutual Funds – Beyond the Numbers.”

The programs are presented at the School’s downtown location, 161 W. Wisconsin Ave. The evening courses range from one to eight sessions.

To learn more, contact Paul Haussman at 414-227-3116 or email [email protected] Or visit the website at www.sce.investoreducation.uwm.edu