Lunch Time Money Track

BAMBERG, Germany - Community members on Warner Barracks here can now use a free service that aims to improve financial savvy and educate people of all pay brackets on the ins and outs of smart investing.

Army Community Service has incorporated a successful daytime television show called Money Track and local financial services into a weekly lunchtime program that began April 16 and is scheduled to run until June 16.

The 30-minute show presents the stories of ordinary individuals who have made extraordinary amounts of money from even low income jobs and initially low savings. Based on the subject's financial portfolio, co-hosts Pam Krueger and Jack Gallagher, study the path to financial success.

The commentators introduce financial educators and experts who provide viewers with tips and advice on becoming financially successful as well as presenting basic investing as an accessible objective for anyone. A 30-minute question and answer section with local financial counselors begins after the episode.

Eugene Woods, USAG Bamberg ACS Financial Readiness Program manager, created and initiated the program on Warner Barracks.

"No other ACS Financial Readiness Program has embarked on this venture to the best of my knowledge," Woods said. "I attended a DoD Military Pre-Conference for Financial Readiness Program managers last year in November 2009 and had an opportunity to meet the host, co-host and sponsor for this program. I was very much interested in their values in promoting an educational program to protect investors or potential investors."

The first Money Track session, March 16, was attended by approximately 35 community members, including Soldiers, family members and Department of Defense employees.

Prior to the video viewing, Woods conducted a survey to ascertain the top financial interests and concerns of attendees.

The three highest-rated topics of interest were whether buying and selling stock is the best approach to investing, the request for information on how to successfully invest online and whether real estate was the best investment available.

Woods said he plans to use the survey to tailor future program discussions and address community members' top financial concerns, along with a Military Family Life Consultant.

"It is my expressed opinion that a program like Money Track, sponsored by the Investor Protection Trust, a nonprofit investor education organization, enhances the Army's commitment to promoting the Army Family Covenant," Woods said. "It will help to strengthen Soldiers, family members and DoD Civilians by providing education, awareness, preventive measures and a supportive environment to improving their financial well-being."

Money Track, encourages viewers to think multi-dimensionally and be patient; one of the program's repeated messages is to listen to and learn from the people around you to gain a better understanding of the investing climate. Every episode incorporates discussion with a guest professor in a segment called "Investing 101."

Investing in quality companies and remaining a disciplined investor can have a big payoff.

"The key thing with anything with investments is you need to understand the risks associated or involved with that investment," Woods said. "My philosophy is to start where you fit in and once you start, be consistent."

Woods hopes that the program will have a positive impact on the community and strengthen people's resolve to learn and better understand investing.

"People know how to save, but they don't know or aren't willing to invest," he said. "The Money Track series is a good start or a great opportunity for any investors, or those who want to start investing, to gain a new or better understanding on how investing works in the real world."

In an effort to improve financial readiness outreach throughout the community, Financial Readiness Program Assistant Ardie Buechner has been running a Financial Challenge program at the Bamberg Middle High School.

High school students should be able to balance check books, save and understand basic finances, Buechner said.

"We also want to prepare seniors for college and handling money away from their parents," she said.

To ensure that all community members have the opportunity to view Money Track, an episode has been uploaded to U.S. Army Garrison Bamberg's Web site at http://www.bamberg.army.mil/directorates/dfmwr/mt201-20100325.asp. The current upload will be replaced by a different episode in the next few weeks.

For more information about Money Track television, visit www.moneytrack.org.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16