About - Personal Finance Program

media"I do not believe it is fair to allow our young people to enter the work force without the financial management skills needed in the real world." - Muriel "Mickie" Siebert

During my tenure as the Superintendent of Banks for the State of New York, I became aware that people who did not have a bank account used check-cashing services, whose fees were excessive. Thus, the people who could least afford it often paid the most for financial services.

In 2005, approximately 2 million people filed for personal bankruptcy, mainly due to credit card abuse. Many people do not know - and the credit card statements do not indicate - that by only paying the minimum amount shown as due, they could be paying for last night's dinner for 15 years or more.

To address these concerns, through The Muriel F. Siebert Foundation, I developed a program for young adults to improve their financial literacy, primarily focusing on managing a checking account and understanding credit card use. After its initial implementation, the program was enhanced to include other topics related to personal finance. For example, taxation (salary deductions) was added because teachers reported that some working students complained that money was being stolen from their paychecks. It was evident that these students had limited knowledge of income taxes or Social Security.

The original Personal Finance Program was completed in 1999, in collaboration with the New York City Department of Education, and introduced into its schools on a pilot basis. Based on the pilot's overwhelming success and student/teacher recommendations, the Program's content was significantly expanded and the Program was subsequently re-published as the Siebert Personal Finance Program: Taking Control of Your Financial Future, a program that teaches essential financial management skills to young people. My foundation supports staff development, updating of materials, and publishing and disseminating the curriculum guide which has been adopted as part of the required Economics curriculum in New York City high schools, is in use in various school districts across the nation and has been adapted for middle schools and adults.

It is my goal that the Personal Finance Program will be adopted nationally in all school districts, so that all students, before graduation, receive a basic foundation in personal finance.

The Personal Finance Program is the creation of the Muriel F. Siebert Foundation, Inc. The Muriel F. Siebert Foundation, Inc., is not an affiliate of Muriel Siebert & Co., Inc., or Siebert Financial Corp.

For more information on the Personal Finance Program, please call the Muriel F. Siebert Foundation, Inc. at 212-644-2461.