September 26, 2005                                                         Contact:Lucas Hamilton

AUDITOR MORRISON ROLLS OUT NEW PROGRAM TO HELP MONTANANS BECOME INFORMED INVESTORS InvestSmart Montana Provides Consumers With Opportunity To Learn About Investment Fraud; Avoid Pitfalls And Scams


      Helena, Mont., September 26, 2005 - Today, Auditor John Morrison unveiled his new InvestSmart Montana program. Morrison urges all Montanans to logon to the new website at www.investSmartMT.org and give their opinion on financial fraud, investment and education in Montana, as part of the program's research component.
      The InvestSmart Montana program is a result of Morrison's successful effort to obtain funds through the non-profit Investor Protection Trust. The program aims to reach Montanans in all 56 counties. Earlier this year, Morrison applied for a grant to help Montanans become more informed investors. As more and more people turn to investing as a way to boost their family finances, the risk of con artists stealing their hard-earned dollars increases.
      Integrating web-based and written materials, InvestSmart Montana will use a unique combination of tools to educate consumers about the pitfalls of investing and help them to steer clear of frauds and scams.
      "On the whole, brokers and investment advisors are honest, hard working, and knowledgeable, but there are some bad apples out there." said Morrison. "Dishonest sales practices and securities fraud are serious problems. I've seen too many heart-breaking cases of a Montanan losing everything to a scam."
      Built on a strong and ongoing research component, InvestSmart Montana will make materials available to consumers through an 800 number, on-line, and through community-based education programs. Formal InvestSmart Montana seminars will be held in the fall and InvestSmart Montana will make presenters and materials available through their speakers bureau for other community events.
      "The goal of InvestSmart Montana is to help everyone in our state become informed investors," said Morrison. "All investments involve risk, but information can help consumers avoid the unnecessary risk of fraud. It won't prevent every case of fraud but knowledge is an investor's best defense."
      
      About InvestSmart Montana and the Investor Protection Trust
      InvestSmart Montana is funded by a grant from the Investor Protection Trust (IPT). The IPT is a nonprofit organization devoted to investor education. Since 1993 the IPT has worked with the States to provide the independent, objective investor education needed by all Americans to make informed investment decisions. InvestSmart Montana materials are not funded through state taxpayer dollars.