Edelman Financial Engines, an independent wealth planning and investment advisory firm, announced a new partnership with the Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center at George Washington University.
The initiative includes the launch and study of a new financial education and counseling program called Fast Track to Financial Health. To begin, the program is being rolled out to nearly 30,000 employees at a Fortune 25 company. According to the organizations, the goal of this effort is to better understand the financial health of employees while providing them with valuable financial advice and tailored resources, all intended to meet urgent financial needs and promote overall financial well-being.
“Employees are increasingly turning to the workplace for help with their financial health and well-being,” said Kelly O’Donnell, executive vice president of Edelman Financial Engines and chief activity in the workplace. “The cornerstone of our business is providing employers with innovative solutions that can improve the bottom line of their workforce.”
To create a benchmarking mechanism to define and measure financial wellness, Edelman Financial Engines partnered with the Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center and used data from the National Financial Capability Study to establish an empirical assessment, which they call the “Financial Health Indicator”. This index serves as the backbone of the Fast Track to Financial Health program, which consists of three stages. The first guides employees through an initial assessment to generate a baseline score, and the second provides personalized guidance and access to educational resources based on that score. Finally, the program assesses the impact of this intervention, focusing on both short-term effects and anticipated future changes in financial health.
“Our recent research found that financial literacy can protect against financial mistakes and stress later in life,” says Annamaria Lusardi, GWU University Professor and Academic Director of GFLEC. “Partnering with Edelman Financial Engines on this innovative research project with a major employer will not only help us better understand employee financial behaviors, but will also provide thousands of employees with much-needed financial education.”
The Fast Track to Financial Health program is launched in April in conjunction with Financial Literacy Month, the initiative launched more than two decades ago to raise awareness of the importance of financial literacy and the need for a effective financial education.
The Edelman Financial Engines program is structured as a six-week challenge, ending in early June. GFLEC will analyze and compare the results to assess the impact of Edelman Financial Engines on an employee’s overall financial well-being. The main results of the research are expected to be published later this year.