As President and CEO of the Investor Protection Trust and the Investor Protection Institute, Don Blandin is passionate about investor education and protection. He has worked on programs that address topics including elder fraud and financial exploitation, as well as saving and investing for retirement. This month, take a few minutes to get to know fellow AFCPE® member, Don Blandin. Find out how you can get involved with the When I’m 65 engagement program and help expand and share the important message of saving for a secure retirement.
Tell us a little about your path into the nonprofit sector and the field of personal finance?
Throughout my career, I have been building educational coalitions and partnerships. I’ve worked in and with a wide variety of sectors, including business and industry, nonprofit, academia, philanthropic foundations, and federal, state and local government, both in the U.S. and globally.
What issues are you most passionate about?
The biggest issues that I care about are investor education and protection – educating individuals to be wise and safe investors. Through my work, I’m always connecting investors to independent, unbiased and noncommercial investor education materials, including materials from IPT, IPI and other trusted non-profit organizations.
The financial services industry has several types of investment products that are constantly being put in front of individuals, through advertisements, phone calls, an invitation for a free dinner and so on. It is up to the investor to do the research in deciding what the product actually is and whether it is appropriate for them. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to be well-informed and cautious about your investments – know where your money is going, how it can grow and who is involved.
Tell us about the When I’m 65 documentary and how AFCPE Members can utilize it as a financial education resource?
The When I’m 65 engagement program has a variety of tools and resources that AFCPE members can utilize in their classrooms, workshops, community meetings and in their personal lives to educate their families and friends. Program materials are tailored to each generational cohort (Millennials, Gen Xers, and Baby Boomers).
You can share screenings of the documentary in your classrooms and workshops to stimulate discussions and utilize online activities to encourage active learning about planning ahead for retirement. The full documentary is available online at www.WI65.org, along with excerpts useful in training workshops, as well as bonus interviews and engagement extras.
Through the program, you can also engage in partnerships with public television stations and state and local community groups to bring retirement saving and investment education to both local communities and individuals across the country. Let us know if you would be interested in participating in a community event (e.g. Investors Town Meeting) and we can connect you to your local public television station and/or State Securities office.
Other tools and resources in development:
- Materials to support multiple workshop topics that can be facilitated by a professional trainer, HR manager, or financial planner in group settings. Want to lead your own virtual workshop? You will have access to a self-guided curriculum with resource materials.
- Lively blog featuring guest commentators and writers
- Newsletter promoting new video, local events, and excerpts from blogs, research, and news about retirement planning.
- Monthly interactive streaming events – widely distributed and embeddable on third party websites – focused on investor education and protection, featuring special guests and educators, and sharing personal stories.
- Marketing kits with digital and print-ready materials.
- Quizzes, worksheets and planning tools
- Social media toolkits, including scripts, reinforcing follow-up messages for workshop participants, direction to video and online resources, texting, etc.
In what ways can AFCPE Members help expand and tailor the reach of this important message?
We want the When I’m 65 program to work for you and meet your needs. Please visit the film’s web page (www.WI65.org) and share your outreach suggestions with us by filling out the survey you find there. Tell us about organizations in your area that you think might be interested in learning about the film and who would be good candidates to sponsor workshops for people in your area. These might include professional organizations around financial planning, administrators of 401(k) plans, community resources that help people with financial literacy, your local library, etc. You can also register to receive educational and promotional materials as well as film updates as they are released.
While the full documentary is available, we encourage you to contact your local PBS station to ask when they plan to air When I’m 65. Don’t know the station? Go to valuepbs.org for an interactive map to locate the stations in your community.
Introduce the Investor Protection Trust (www.investorprotection.org), the Investor Protection Institute (www.iInvest.org) and/or Detroit Public Television (www.dptv.org) to your partners and local organizations that are interested in using When I’m 65 as an educational tool.
We also encourage AFCPE members to promote When I’m 65 via social media. You can share When I’m 65’s posts or create your own including the When I’m 65 handle and #WI65 hashtag.
- When I’m 65 on Twitter: @WI65project (twitter.com/WI65project)
- When I’m 65 on Facebook: facebook.com/WI65project
IPI and IPT regularly share the documentary broadcast dates via social media which AFCPE members can share, particularly when the documentary will be aired in their market. Follow IPI and IPT on Twitter and like IPI and IPT on Facebook:
- IPT on Twitter: @IPT_Info (twitter.com/IPT_Info)
- IPT on Facebook: facebook.com/InvestorProtectionTrust
- IPI on Twitter: @IPI_News (twitter.com/IPI_News)
- IPI on Facebook: facebook.com/InvestorProtectionInstitute
And the question we ask in every Member Spotlight: if you had to choose, what is your favorite personal finance advice?
Saving and investing is not one-size-fits-all. To be a wise and safe investor, you have to assess your financial situation, investigate before you invest, adjust your plan according to different phases and resources in your life and never stop educating yourself. And, just as important, help others along the way! This is something I’ve seen many AFCPE members do over the years. Let’s continue to build bridges whenever possible.
I will also share IPT and IPI’s five keys to investing success:
Key #1: Make investing a habit
Key #2: Set exciting goals
Key #3: Don’t take unnecessary risks
Key #4: Keep time on your side
Key #5: Diversify
Have questions for Don? Reach out to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interested in connecting with other AFCPE members living in your area or sharing your professional interests? Use the AFCPE Member Search portal: https://my.afcpe.org/member_search.