Society for Financial Education & Professional Development (SFEPD) Launches Program with the FINRA Investor Education Foundation to Advance HBCU Students’ Financial Education and Encourage Financial Careers through the SIE® Exam
ALEXANDRIA, VA April 26, 2023 – The Society for Financial Education and Professional Development (SFEPD) is teaming up with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Investor Education Foundation to provide financial tools for students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) that will strengthen their financial knowledge about the securities industry.
As part of the partnership with the FINRA Foundation, SFEPD Student Ambassadors at two HBCUs – Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) and Alabama State University – are being trained on how the capital markets ecosystem works and the financial industry regulatory requirements needed to take FINRA’s Securities Industry Essentials® (SIE®) Exam. The SIE Exam is a test for prospective securities industry professionals. Passing this exam can lead to competitive employment opportunities and careers in an array of jobs, including working as a stockbroker, financial analyst, investment banker, asset management manager, and more.
According to Zippia.com, fewer than 6% of workers in the financial services industry are African Americans. “Through our partnership with the FINRA Foundation, we are opening doors to support HBCU students who pursue careers in the financial securities industry, where people of color are vastly underrepresented,” said Ted Daniels, SFEPD’s founder and president. “Partnering with the FINRA Foundation to prepare HBCU students for the SIE Exam is a great tool because this test gives students strong foundational knowledge about capital markets.”
“The FINRA Foundation is committed to making financial education more accessible to underserved communities because research shows that financial education works and that individuals who participate in 10 hours or more of quality financial education tended to exhibit better financial behaviors. Our partnership with SFEPD will enhance financial knowledge and capability among the next generation of investors and heighten HBCU students’ awareness of FINRA. The program will also introduce participants to a range of professional opportunities in the securities industry and potentially expand the pipeline of college students of color considering the financial services industry as a career option,” said FINRA Foundation President Gerri Walsh.
SFEPD is working specifically to increase the financial and investment knowledge of young people from communities of color. SFEPD is achieving this goal, in part, through its successful HBCU peer-to-peer financial literacy program. The Student Ambassador Program targets students at HBCUs to help them plan their financial futures wisely.
Student Ambassadors are trained by SFEPD staff and university oversight professors in personal finance concepts to enable them to lead and teach engaging classes to fellow students. “By preparing to take the Security Industry Essentials Exam together with learning the principles of personal financial management while still in college, SFEPD Financial Ambassadors have a head start on securing healthy incomes in the financial services industry and knowing how to make the most of the incomes they will earn,” said Inger Daniels-Hollar, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Finance, FAMU’s School of Business and Industry. “The opportunity provided by SFEPD is structured to ensure the Ambassadors hit the ground running toward building wealth right after they graduate.”
Kamal Hingorani, Ph.D., Professor of Computer Information Systems (CIS) and Dean of the College of Business Administration at Alabama State University, agrees. “In this competitive world, our students have to stand above the crowd. There is also an underrepresentation of African Americans in the world of finance,” he said. “This alliance will help us integrate the SIE Exam into our undergraduate Finance and MBA programs. Students with an SIE credential under their belt will be better prepared for the real world.”
Students see the value of taking the SIE Exam. “SFEPD is giving me and my peers the opportunity to prepare and take the SIE Exam, which is a tremendous blessing,” said Alexis Roberts, an SFEPD Student Ambassador at FAMU. “I plan to navigate a career within asset management, so taking this exam while still in college will catapult my future career.”
SFEPD is proud to teach HBCU students personal finance skills and give them tools to be more successful in the job market so that they can build generational wealth for themselves and their families, Daniels said.
About The Society for Financial Education and Professional Development
For nearly 25 years, SFEPD, based in the Washington, D.C. area, has served as an award-winning financial literacy and professional development nonprofit teaching financial skills to people of all ages and backgrounds with a focus on underserved communities. SFEPD is directed by President and Founder Ted Daniels, a global financial literacy leader. Learn more at www.sfepd.org. Connect with SFEPD on social media:
About the FINRA Investor Education Foundation
The FINRA Investor Education Foundation supports innovative research and educational projects that give underserved Americans the knowledge, skills and tools to make sound financial decisions throughout life. For more information about FINRA Foundation initiatives, visit www.finrafoundation.org.
FINRA is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to investor protection and market integrity. It regulates one critical part of the securities industry—brokerage firms doing business with the public in the United States. FINRA, overseen by the SEC, writes rules, examines for and enforces compliance with FINRA rules and federal securities laws, registers broker-dealer personnel and offers them education and training, and informs the investing public. In addition, FINRA provides surveillance and other regulatory services for equities and options markets, as well as trade reporting and other industry utilities. FINRA also administers a dispute resolution forum for investors and brokerage firms and their registered employees. For more information, visit www.finra.org.
Ginie Lynch, Director of Communications