One of the best places to begin when you decide to learn more about personal finances and investing is your local library. Public libraries have a wealth of information to tap into to better educate yourself about personal finances and investing. Now some libraries are taking it a step further by offering a free educational program on the fundamentals of investing.
Called the Investor Education @ Your Library, it’s a collaboration of the American Library Association (ALA) and the Investor Protection Trust (IPT) and the editors of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine in an attempt to promote investor education in America’s public libraries. The program consists of a 90-minute non-commercial seminar that will cover basic information on bonds, college saving, mutual funds, retirement saving and stocks. This will be followed by optional one-on-one session with a licensed investment counselor to review your current financial status and individual goals.
Many “free” investor education programs have a less than favorable reputation due to hard sells during and after the program. Investor Education @ Your Library is letting interested parties know they won’t be subject to these type of sales pitches. The people giving the lecturers are volunteers from institutional investing firms. The one-on-one sessions afterward will be with licensed professionals who will simply provide a financial checkup – there will be no sales pitches involved.
To participate, you must register so that worksheets and other material can be sent to you to fill out. You’ll also be instructed on which financial materials to bring with you to the seminar and session. Each seminar is limited to 100 people and it is being held in 20 different cities across the country beginning with Washington D.C. on March 28th.
The following libraries are taking part in the program and you can find out more information about the program at the website for each library:
Anchorage Municipal Libraries
Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System
The Bowling Green Public Library, KY
D.C. Public Library
Des Moines Public Library
Detroit Public Library
Fletcher Free Library, Burlington, VT
Free Library of Philadelphia
Jacksonville Public Library (Florida)
Kansas City Public Library
Monroe County Public Library, Bloomington, IN
New York Public Library
Norfolk Public Library
Onondaga County Public Library, Syracuse, NY
Parmly Billings Library, Billings, MT
Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County
Sacramento Public Library
Siouxland Libraries, Sioux Falls, SD
Tuscaloosa Public Library
Wichita Public Library