Washington (Dec. 4, 2003) -- NASD has established an Investor Education Foundation to provide investors with tools and information on investing and the markets.

The Foundation, which will function as a separate, not-for-profit organization, will have an initial endowment of $10 million with additional resources in future years to come from fines collected in connection with NASD’s disciplinary activities.

It was established in part as a response to an NASD survey that showed investors have questions and misunderstandings about investment issues. Among the findings of the survey: Nearly 50 percent thought stock market losses were insured, and nearly 80 percent did not understand fully the meaning of “no load” mutual funds. In addition, almost half of the 1,086 participants said they could have avoided a negative experience had they known more about investing.

The Foundation will be overseen by a Board of Directors, and will focus its grants on educational programs and materials aimed at segments of the investing public whose financial concerns are not being addressed.

Separately, NASD said it changed the name of its Public Disclosure Program to NASD BrokerCheck. The free service allows the public to check the professional background and history of brokers and securities firms. Investors can access the program at www.nasdbrokercheck.com or by calling (800) 289-9999.

-- WebCPA staff

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