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U.S. Treasurer Rosario Marin Applauds Hispanic Investor Education Program

Contacts:
Idalia P. Fernandez, Hispanic College Fund, Inc., 202/296-5400
Denise Murray, Investment Company Institute, 202/371-5420

Washington, DC, February 11, 2003 - Treasurer of the United States Rosario Marin has joined the Hispanic College Fund, Inc. and the Investment Company Institute Education Foundation in promoting important financial education and investor awareness messages to the nation's Hispanic population through Invertir con Éxito, (www.invertirconexito.org), the free bilingual web course of the Investing for Success investor education program.

Hispanics are the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population. Research shows that nearly three-quarters of Hispanic households are concerned that they may not be saving enough to meet future needs, such as retirement and the higher education of their children. As the highest-ranking Latina in the Bush Administration and the first U.S. Treasurer born outside of the United States, Treasurer Marin is a key player in the U.S. Treasury Department's new Financial Literacy Initiative.

Treasurer Marin says saving for education is a significant goal for Hispanics. "It is fundamentally important for families, especially Latinos, to start saving money for their children's college education," Marin said, noting that the current U.S. Census shows 11 percent of Latinos had completed four years or more of college. "One of the most significant reasons fewer Hispanic students are graduating from college is lack of financial resources," she said. "I am confident that Invertir con Éxito and similar programs will help Hispanic investors make informed investment decisions and build a solid financial foundation for themselves and their children."

Institute Executive Vice President Julie Domenick said, "Treasurer Marin's involvement in financial education will help this program gain increased visibility and progress toward its goal of helping to close the investment knowledge gap." The Investing for Success program was launched in May 2000 by the ICI Education Foundation and the National Urban League to strengthen investor awareness in the African-American community. The program was expanded in 2002 to reach the nation's Hispanic community.

Invertir con Éxito is a searchable, self-paced, interactive, Internet-based course offered in both Spanish and English. The course includes animated graphics and video clips of Hispanic investors and finance professionals commenting on their personal experiences. Participants learn how to assess their risk tolerance; match their financial goals and risk tolerance to specific types of investments; and evaluate whether their investment expectations are realistic given their goals and risk tolerance. The multimedia program also emphasizes the importance of realistic expectations and the benefits of long-term investing for financial goals such as a child's higher education or a secure retirement.