Pella Chronicle

Local News

April 3, 2014

New Money Smart Week Contest helps Iowans understand investing

The Pella Public Library is participating in the DASH for the Stash, a new contest during Money Smart Week (MSW) Iowa, April 5-12. The statewide winner will be awarded $1,000 to open or add to a retirement investment account, thanks to the MSW partner, the Investor Protection Trust.

The DASH for the Stash will be played at nearly 100 libraries and other locations across the state. The contest is played much like a scavenger hunt. But instead of collecting objects, players will collect information and leave answers to quiz questions. “Our goal is to impart some financial knowledge—in a fun way—on how to save, invest, and protect your nest egg. Everyone will learn something,” says librarian Wendy Street.

To play, participants go to the library to find four posters. They read each poster, access the quiz question and choose an answer. The posters cover topics of importance to savers and investors—such as understanding investment fees, finding financial advisors, avoiding fraud, and learning about investment products. The easiest way to play DASH for the Stash is to use a smart phone or mobile device to scan each poster’s QR code, but you can also use a computer.

“Getting people to focus on investing for retirement is not a game, but DASH for the Stash is a great way to engage participants who might not otherwise pay attention to this crucial part of their overall financial picture,” said Don Blandin, president and CEO of the Investor Protection Trust. “We are partnering with Iowa libraries for the DASH for the Stash contest because they are open to finding innovative ways to meet our mission: providing consumers the knowledge they need to become informed investors and help them avoid pitfalls.”

Craig Goettsch, education director for the Iowa Insurance Division, agrees: “DASH for the Stash shows that Iowa libraries are open to finding new ways to connect with the public. Here, they are working with Money Smart Week Iowa partners to make the library a place to learn about investing, which is not difficult but can involve complex products. The key is to understand the investment and the associated risk and reward before you invest, not after you part with your money.”

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