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A conversation with Olivia Valdes, Senior Researcher, FINRA Investor Foundation

So tell us, what’s new?
Last month, the FINRA Foundation published two studies to shed light on saving and investing in the United States and beyond:

  • The Foundation and CFA Institute released Gen Z and Investing: Social Media, Crypto, FOMO, and Family, a report examining the investing attitudes and behaviors of young adults ages 18 to 25 in the U.S. and selected other countries worldwide. Among other results, the study finds that a staggering 56 percent of U.S. Gen Zs are already investing.
  • Another recent study published by the Foundation, this time with FiCycle and NORC at the University of Chicago, shows that adults with high mathematics and financial knowledge report more positive financial actions and fewer negative ones than those with high knowledge in only one (or neither) domain.

On the education front, the FINRA Foundation and the American Library Association are now accepting applications for Thinking Money for Kids v2.0, a multimedia kit containing everything a public library needs for delivering fun and engaging financial literacy experiences for children ages 3 to 12. The deadline to apply is September 8.  


This opportunity follows close on the heels of the recently completed nationwide tour of the ALA-FINRA Foundation Thinking Money for Kids exhibition. Make sure to read the new report by Knology (a social science research firm), which shares findings from its independent evaluation of the exhibition.  And if you’re looking to upgrade your school library’s personal finance collections for emerging readers, check out Thinking Money for All Kids: Diverse and Inclusive Reads to Teach Young People about Money.

What’s the impact this has had/or you hope it will have on moving financial literacy forward?
Our research provides information about the financial education needs of a diverse U.S population — including those of a new generation entering the financial markets in unprecedented numbers.

For financial education to be effective, it must reach those who need it most. Our partnership with the American Library Association has long enabled authentic learning experiences to prepare young people in diverse communities for a lifetime of consequential financial decisions.

How do we learn more?
More information about the FINRA Foundation’s research and education initiatives is available at  We also update our social media channels with new information. Check out LinkedInTwitter and Facebook.What else are you working on?
The FINRA Foundation partners with organizations across the nation to accomplish its mission. Our educational programs and research focus on bolstering people’s financial capability, whether in the workplace, their local library, at school or anywhere they may find themselves. We also work to protect consumers against fraud and financial exploitation. Through all these efforts, we aim to advance financial inclusion, providing people across all walks of life the ability to reach their financial goals.Tell us more about your organization
FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, is an independent, not-for-profit organization with a public mission: to protect America’s investors by making sure the securities industry operates fairly and honestly. We do that by writing and enforcing rules governing the activities of all securities firms doing business in the United States. FINRA operates under the oversight of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.In addition to fulfilling its regulatory functions, FINRA offers a range of tools and programs to help people better understand investing and protect themselves along the way. These resources — including investor articles, online tools and calculators, and micro-courses on investing basics — are available at also supports the work of the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, which pursues a mission to empower underserved Americans with the knowledge, skills and tools necessary for financial success throughout life. Through a combination of research and educational programming, the FINRA Foundation helps Americans build financial stability, invest for life goals, and guard against fraud and financial exploitation.Contact: 
Olivia Valdes