Santa Clara, Calif., April 19, 2022 – Edelman Financial Engines, America’s top independent wealth planning and investment advisory firm, today announced a new partnership with the George Washington University’s Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center. This initiative involves the launch and study of an innovative financial counseling and education program called Fast Track to Financial Health, which is being deployed to nearly 30,000 employees at a Fortune 25 company.
The goal of this effort is to gain key insights into the financial health of employees while providing them with valuable financial counseling and tailored resources to address critical needs and measure progress toward overall financial wellness.
“Employees are increasingly looking to the workplace for assistance with their financial health and well-being. The cornerstone of our business is providing employers with innovative solutions that can improve the financial outcomes of their workforce,” said Kelly O’Donnell, executive vice president at Edelman Financial Engines and head of its workplace business. “The Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center has more than 10 years of research experience in the field of financial literacy and well-being, and we’re thrilled to partner with them on this program to empower one of our largest clients and their employees to achieve greater financial awareness, preparedness and success.”
To create a benchmarking mechanism to define and measure financial well-being, Edelman Financial Engines partnered with GFLEC to use data from the National Financial Capability Study to establish an empirical assessment – the “Financial Health Status Indicator.” This index serves as the backbone of the Fast Track to Financial Health program, which consists of three essential steps that 1) take employees through an initial assessment to generate a baseline score; 2) provide personalized counseling and access to educational resources based on that score; and 3) assess the impact of this intervention with a focus on both short-term effects and future anticipated changes in financial decision-making.
“Our recent research found that financial literacy can be protective against financial errors and stress in later life,” said Annamaria Lusardi, university professor at GW and GFLEC’s Academic Director. “Partnering with Edelman Financial Engines on this innovative research project with a major employer will not only help us better understand financial behaviors of employees but also provides thousands of employees with much needed financial education.”
The Fast Track to Financial Health program is launching in April in conjunction with Financial Literacy Month, the initiative established more than two decades ago to raise awareness of the importance of financial literacy and the need for effective financial education.
The Edelman Financial Engines program is structured as a six-week challenge, concluding in early June. In addition to adding value to both employers and employees, GFLEC will be analyzing and benchmarking the findings to assess Edelman Financial Engines’ help on an employee’s overall financial well-being. The key findings of the research are expected to be released later this year.
About Edelman Financial Engines
Since 1986, Edelman Financial Engines has been committed to always acting in the best interests of our clients. We were founded on the belief that all investors – not just the wealthy – deserve access to personal, comprehensive financial planning and investment advice. Today, we are America’s top independent financial planning and investment advisory firm, recognized by Barron’s,1 with 145+ offices2 across the country and entrusted by more than 1.3 million clients to manage more than $291 billion in assets.2 Our unique approach to serving clients combines our advanced methodology and proprietary technology with the attention of a dedicated personal financial planner. Every client’s situation and goals are unique, and the powerful fusion of high-tech and high-touch allows Edelman Financial Engines to deliver the personal plan and financial confidence that everyone deserves.
The Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center is dedicated to advancing research and solutions that open the door to universal financial literacy. In working toward that mission, GFLEC has positioned itself as the world’s leading incubator for financial literacy research, policy and solutions. GFLEC launched in 2011 at the George Washington University School of Business in Washington, D.C. Since then, it has pioneered breakthrough tools to measure financial literacy, developed and advised on educational programs, and crafted policy guidelines aimed at advancing financial knowledge in the United States and around the world. For more information on GFLEC, visit https://gflec.org/.
Edelman Financial Engines
1 The 2021 Top 100 Independent Advisory Firm Ranking issued by Barron’s is qualitative and quantitative, including assets managed, revenue generated, regulatory record, staffing levels and diversity, technology spending and succession planning. Firms elect to participate but do not pay to be included in the ranking. Investor experience and returns are not considered.
2 Data as of Dec. 31, 2021.