Invesco Launches New Personal Finance Game: How Not To Suck At Money
Ric Edelman: I'm very happy to welcome back onto the program, my friend Ryan McCormack. He's the Factor and Core Equity ETF Strategist. That's a big title for the Invesco QQQ, the fifth largest ETF in the country. 23 years old, one of the most popular in the nation. Ryan, good to have you back on the program.
Ryan McCormack: Thanks, Ric. Great to be back.
Ric: We have a lot of focus on college sports. We all love to watch football and basketball and it is indeed the season. Invesco QQQ is one of the sponsors of the NCAA. Invesco is clearly trying to reach individual investors. And by serving individual investors, it shows a really big commitment. You know, not every fund company, I hate to put it the way I'm going to put it, but I'm going to say it anyway - not every fund company cares about individual investors. They serve institutional clients or they serve advisors, and they don't have a focus on individual investors. But Invesco is a household name because of your commitment to individual investors, and this all ties to the NCAA. It's not just that Invesco is a sponsor of the NCAA, it's the fact that Invesco is focusing on financial education. Talk about the new game that Invesco has just created in conjunction with the NCAA, and it's got the wackiest title of a personal finance program I have ever heard. Talk about that.
Ryan: I think we'll have the lead with the title. The game is called How Not to Suck At Money.
Ric: We got to stop there. Seriously? How Not to Suck At Money.
Ryan: That's the ultimate goal.
Ric: So you got to elaborate. Talk about this educational game for students.
Ryan: Yeah. So I'll take a step back and kind of just address some of your earlier comments, which I think were spot on. You know, Invesco is very well known and QQQ has been very well known in the investment community for the better part of the last 20 years. You know, I think you see the ads on CNBC, on some of the other financial programs. But you look at sort of the dynamics of investing and ETFs in general, I think have led the way of the democratization of investing. You know, retail investors or self-directed investors can gain exposure to themes, ideas, products that that they wouldn't have been able to 20 years ago. So with that, we've seen folks, you know, kind of lean the self-directed route and specifically we kind of talk about those folks as the individual investor. And a lot of that spurred are the Invesco QQQ being the official ETF of the NCAA and leads us to How Not To Suck At Money. It's an interactive game that that helps to teach students lessons about budgeting, about credit cards, just kind of taking control and owning their finances so that they can be better equipped for the future. But it's been very well received. It's a huge part of our commitment to the NCAA.
Ric: Well, it is certainly a very catchy name. I've played the game. You just go to the website – HTNSAM.com - How Not To Suck At Money. It's kind of like an old school video game. I'm thinking like, you know, Mario Brothers. It's very basic as it really just talks at the student's level, but it's kind of fun and funny. It's incredibly easy and intuitive to play. It doesn't take a lot of time. You can stop and start whenever you feel like it. It really isn't an investment strategy game. It is a basic personal finance game. We have to remember that most students graduate with no financial literacy, and so it's really important that we provide some. And your game is a simple, easy, frictionless way for them to get that access. Talk about the reaction that you're hearing from students who play the game.
Ryan: Yeah, so, you know, I think the point you were just making, you know, 60% of college students are extremely interested in learning more about managing their money. But only 14% have taken a non-credit financial education course. So right there, there is a disconnect. But, you know, as we start to kind of roll out How Not To Suck At Money, and 91% of students who've played the game feel better informed about personal finance and 86% of those that have taken the game plan to do something as a result of lessons learned. And so we strive to continue to expand that reach. Thus far, we've seen 2.3 million site visits and 70,000 game starts, which is pretty significant. We're very encouraged. I think there's ample opportunity for more and more students to take advantage of this free resource.
Ric: So it works either way, desktop or laptop, iPad, what have you, or on your smartphone. Simple and easy to use. It's free, of course. What are you doing, Ryan, to publicize this so that students are aware that this game exists?
Ryan: There's a lot of eyes on March Madness. We were down in New Orleans last year promoting the game to college students, and it was really interesting to see how motivated and how eager a lot of these students were. So, you know, it's about consistently getting that message out there and empowering students to take control of their finances and ultimately their future.
Ric: Now, I'll mention this. You know, although Invesco created How Not To Suck At Money, this new personal finance game for college students, quite frankly, from my experience of playing the game, there's no doubt in my mind that teenagers can benefit and enjoy the game as well. Although this is aimed at college students, I would not hesitate to allow a ninth or 10th grader to play this game as well.
Ryan: Absolutely. Again, I think it goes back to just how approachable the game is, how easy it is, and the lessons are sort of basic financial literacy. And I think it's approachable for all teenagers up through the college age students and even beyond that.
Ric: So I encourage you to go check this out. Ryan, I had mentioned HNTSAM as a website. Is that the best way for people to find the game?
Ryan: HNTSAM is the easiest way to pull it up. And you know, there should be a link. Just play the game and you know from there it'll run within your browser.
Ric: And if you have trouble remembering that awkward acronym, HNTSAM, just remember what it stands for. How Not To Suck At Money, which is just too clever a name. And I never would have had the guts to title one of my books that. How Not to Suck at Money, a brand-new personal finance game from our friends at Invesco and Invesco QQQ. Ryan McCormick, the Factor and Core Equity ETF Strategist at Invesco QQQ. Thanks for joining us on the show and explaining How Not To Suck At Money.
Ryan: Thanks very much, Ric.