April 9, 2003                                                         Contact:Lucas Hamilton

State Auditor Morrison joins in National Investor Education Campaign

      Helena - State Auditor John Morrison and staff of the Montana Securities Department are participating in a national grass-roots investor education campaign this month, to help provide investors with the information they need to make wise financial decisions and protect themselves from financial fraud.
      "With interest rates at 40-year lows, a volatile stock market, longer life expectancies and the uncertain future of Social Security, smart planning for retirement is more vital than ever," Morrison said. "We are now a nation of 85 million investors. Financial education has never been more important. Investors need to understand the basics of saving and investing, know how to check out an investment or salesperson and how to protect themselves against fraud."
      "It is never too early, or too late, to start saving and investing for your future," Morrison said. "Making smart financial choices - from using credit wisely to saving for retirement and avoiding fraud - is the best way to ensure you can meet your financial goals."
      Morrison and his staff will visit high schools and senior centers throughout Montana to educate consumers about investing, credit and avoiding fraud. Later this month, Morrison will announce the details of his new community-based investor education program called Montana Money School.
      The month-long Facts on Saving and Investing Campaign is a joint effort of state and Canadian provincial securities regulators. The campaign is now in its sixth year.