Financial Literacy Tools

Iowans win IRA Contributions through IPI’s 2017 Dash for the Stash Contest

In 2017, the Investor Protection Institute (IPI) and state securities agencies sponsored the DASH for the STASH contest in which an estimated 1,300 individuals participated in. DASH for the STASH is a “scavenger hunt”- like contest that teaches and then quizzes participants on investing topics such as financial fraud, building a nest egg, selecting financial advisers and the cost of investment fees. A total of 138 public libraries and other locations in eight jurisdictions participated in the contest. Participating jurisdictions included Alaska, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wyoming and the District of Columbia.

Of the 1,300 individuals who participated at host locations, 346 submitted completed responses and 171 of those responses had the correct answers. One individual, from each of the jurisdictions, who submitted all correct answers was randomly selected as a winner and received a $1,000 IRA contribution.

The DASH for the STASH contest also included an online version for the first time in 2017. The online version was open to anyone, regardless of location, and ran from April 1, 2017, to October 31, 2017. Of the 184 completed online responses, 53 were correct and seven winners were randomly selected to receive $150 IRA contributions.

Between the DASH host locations and online version, 15 winners were selected. Of those 15, two winners were from Iowa.

  • A 37 year-old male in Urbandale, Iowa won a $1,000 IRA fund contribution by participating at the Mason County Public Library. He said, “I found the DASH for the STASH fun and very informational. The posters were full of financial information and descriptions that helped me understand different options for our money to work for us.”
  • A 29 year-old female in Des Moines, Iowa won a $150 IRA fund contribution by participating in the DASH national online version and said, “DASH for the STASH was not only fun but it gave me the foundation I needed to get started with my own retirement fund!”

In addition to IPI, other organization that were involved with the 2017 DASH for the STASH included Alaska Division of Banking and Securities, the District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking, the Florida Office of Financial Regulation Securities Division, the Kentucky Department of Financial Institutions, the Ohio Division of Securities, the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities, and the Wyoming Secretary of State’s Office.

For more information about the 2017 DASH for the STASH, click here. Information on whether the DASH will occur in 2018, has not yet been released.

Helpful Information

Iowa earns C on 2017 national report card

Champlain College’s Center for Financial Literacy in Burlington, Vt. has recently graded all 50 states and the District of Columbia (D.C.) on financial literacy at the high school level. Iowa was one of the 11 states that earned a “C” on the National Report Card on State Efforts to Improve Financial Literacy in High Schools.

For the 2017 report card, states were measured on whether they have a personal finance education course as a graduation requirement, made personal finance a part of a required course or had finance education in its academic standards that were expected to be taught.

Although there have been some improvements since the last report card, released in 2015, the results could be better. Of all the 50 states and D.C. that were graded, only five states earned an A: Alabama, Missouri, Tennessee, Utah and Virginia. To earn an “A” these states require personal finance instruction as a graduation requirement that is equal to a one-semester, half-year course (minimum of 60 hours of personal finance instruction in an academic year).

In the report, it explains Iowa does not require a specifically identified course with personal finance concepts as a graduation requirement. Rather, Iowa’s core standards define the expectations and content of what all student should know and be able to do by Grade 12. To see these standards, click here.

Click here to review the entire 2017 Champlain report.

Helpful Information

Register now for Iowa Council on Economic Education/Next Gen Personal Finance Teacher Workshop



In collaboration with Next Gen Personal Finance (NGPF), the Iowa Council on Economic Education is offering a one-day professional development workshop for personal finance educators. This workshop will be held at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s West Des Moines branch located at 7601 Office Plaza Drive North #150 in West Des Moines. Registration begins at 8:00 a.m. with the workshop being held from 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 10.

Next Gen Personal Finance will facilitate their highly successful “FINCAMP”. Their experts will dig deep into the details of personal finance topics helping to equip teachers better cover financial literacy concepts to their students.

A $50 stipend will be provided to all workshop participants at the conclusion of the training session, and for educators traveling more than 2 hours to attend this PD and additional $100 will be provided to help offset travel costs!

Click here to register.

Financial Literacy Tools, Helpful Information, Upcoming Events

CFPB’s Five Principles for Effective Financial Education Webinar

Join the Money Smart Week Team for the CFPD’s Five Principles for Effective Financial Education webinar on Thursday, August 17 from 1 – 2 p.m. CST.

The webinar will include information on CFPD’s five principles that can be put into practice through financial education aimed at adults. These principles include the following:

  • Know the individuals and families to be served
  • Provide actionable, relevant and timely information
  • Improve key financial skills
  • Build on motivation
  • Make it easy to make good decisions and follow through

The above principles are built on research-based insights about how people make financial decisions, on feedback from financial education practitioners and on what the Money Smart Week Team has learned about consumers’ own experience in the financial marketplace.

To register for the webinar, click here.

Financial Literacy Tools, Helpful Information

Investing: 101 webinar scheduled for tomorrow!

We know it’s short notice, but this webinar will be too good to pass up. Join financial educator Karen Chan during tomorrow’s Investing: 101 webinar. Learn about stocks, bonds and mutual funds through the story of the young company Freddie’s Finest Furniture.  Chan will also explain index funds and target date retirement fund and how they can simplify your investing decisions.

For more information on joining the Investing: 101 webinar, see the information below.

January 26th 1:00pm CST- 1:30pm CST

Dial in Access: 1-855-377-2663

Participant Code: 66141401

Helpful Information, Job Opportunity, Scholarships

Future Ready Iowa – a great resource for your future

Are you looking for education, training or high demand jobs in the state of Iowa? If you are, a great place to start your search is the Future Ready Iowa website. The website was launched on Monday, Jan. 23, 2017, and offers a variety of resources such as skill building; scholarship and college opportunities; and career information and openings.

Future Ready Iowa was created after Iowa received a National Governors Association grant in 2014. This initiative is aimed at helping to build Iowa’s talent in the coming years. According to the website, the goal of Future Ready Iowa is for 70 percent of Iowa’s workforce to have education or training beyond high school by the year 2025.

According to the Future Ready Iowa Fact Sheet, we need this initiative because …

“Education or training beyond high school has become the new minimum threshold for Americans to earn a living wage and attain middle class status. In 1973, only 28 percent of U.S. jobs required education beyond a high school diploma; by 2025, almost two out of three jobs in the nation are projected to require at least some postsecondary education or training. Iowa’s economy reflects this national trend and demonstrates a steady increase in the demand for postsecondary education and training in the industries that form the mainstay of the economy.”

For more information or questions about Future Ready Iowa, contact:

Doug Hoelscher, Office of the Governor

Linda Fandel, Office of the Governor

Financial Literacy Tools, Helpful Information, Scholarships, Uncategorized

Money Smart Kid Essay application now available

Each year, during Money Smart Week, the Iowa Bankers Association sponsors the Money Smart Week essay contest in partnership with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Through the contest, students are asked to answer a financial question and relate it back to their life. This year’s question is:

“Do you think there is a connection between financial health and physical health? Please explain your answer. What can you do to become more financially healthy?”

One student will be named this year’s Money Smart Kid and will receive a $1,000 College Savings account. Participants must reside in the Money Smart Week Iowa or Quad Cities region and must be in grade 7-11. The deadline to submit an essay is Friday, March 24, 2017, and the winner will be notified by April 19.

Download the MSW Essay application at To stay up-to-date on contest information, “like” MSW Iowa on Facebook.