Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC)

Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC)
Investor Education Fund

Investor Education Fund

March 16, 2009 11:21 ET

High School Students Across Canada to Benefit From Funny Money Assembly Program

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 16, 2009) - Investor Education Fund, in partnership with the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC), is expanding its sponsorship of the Funny Money for High Schools Assembly Program to a national audience. This program educates youth about the basics of personal finance including credit, debt and savings and uses a unique presentation format to make a lasting impression on students. Since Investor Education Fund first began sponsorship of the program in 2005 in partnership with the Cambridge Ontario Chamber of Commerce, Funny Money has reached over 150,000 students in 110 Ontario schools.

"It is critical that today's youth understand the fundamentals of personal finance before they enter the world of higher education, careers and independence," said Tom Hamza, president of Investor Education Fund. "This is one of the few programs that successfully takes what can be a dry subject to many, and makes it personal and memorable."

"The Funny Money for High Schools Assembly Program offered us an opportunity to expand the reach of an established and successful financial literacy program that is unique within Canada," said IIROC CEO and President Susan Wolburgh Jenah. "Over the next three years, we look forward to extending the program to high school students from coast to coast, in both English and French." IIROC funding will also support the development of marketing materials and a website providing content and tools for students.

According to a recent study by the Financial Consumers Association of Canada, six in ten young Canadians have debt, with credit card debt by far the most common (65% of those with some debt), followed by student loans (44%). Of those young Canadians carrying some debt, more than one-third have a debt load of $10,000 or more.

The Funny Money for High Schools Assembly Program, delivered by professional comedian James Cunningham, offers a highly entertaining show which takes students on a financial literacy tour through the basics of balancing a cheque book, reconciling a debit card statement, to credit card fundamentals and more. The Funny Money for High Schools Assembly Program is being introduced in Alberta, British Columbia and Nova Scotia this year, with other regions being added over the next three years. Schools interested in securing the Funny Money for High Schools Assembly Program for the 2009 spring and fall sessions are encouraged to contact Lisa Durocher at the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce at 519-622-2670.

Investor Education Fund also recently announced a series of online animated cartoons that introduce youth to the challenges of money management. The cartoons and the assembly program complement additional initiatives for youth from Investor Education Fund including its "Taking Stock in Your Future" program that helps educators teach financial life skills in the classroom.

About Investor Education Fund

The Investor Education Fund offers trustworthy and unbiased investment education to the general public via www.investored.ca and to students through its Taking Stock in Your Future teacher program. The organization also provides funding support to not-for-profit and community organizations. The Investor Education Fund is funded by the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC), Ontario's investment industry regulator and is funded through OSC enforcement settlements.

About IIROC

IIROC is the national self-regulatory organization which oversees all investment dealers and trading activity on debt and equity marketplaces in Canada. Created in 2008 through the consolidation of the Investment Dealers Association of Canada and Market Regulation Services Inc., IIROC sets high quality regulatory and investment industry standards, protects investors and strengthens market integrity while maintaining efficient and competitive capital markets. IIROC carries out its regulatory responsibilities through setting and enforcing rules regarding the proficiency, business and financial conduct of dealer firms and their registered employees and through setting and enforcing market integrity rules regarding trading activity on Canadian equity marketplaces.

IIROC's Board of Directors has approved funding for this project from its Restricted Fund as an expenditure relating to public education about investing and financial matters. The Restricted Fund is comprised of disciplinary fines assessed on IIROC-regulated firms and registrants.

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