|Volume 7, Issue 1, 2007||Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas|
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Building Wealth Characters Get Animated
When the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas updated its popular print publication, Building Wealth: A Beginner's Guide to Securing Your Financial Future, it also produced a new animated, interactive CD-ROM version.
The initial idea was to produce a video, but considering the sweeping changes in technology in the seven years since Building Wealth made its debut as a personal finance education resource, the decision was to go interactive.
Because people spend more time at their computers these days, surfing the web, downloading music and such, Building Wealth needed to fit in with the wired lifestyle. Plus, financial issues like credit scores and identity theft—which were just starting to generate headlines in 2000—needed to be addressed.
"Going electronic and interactive with our single most-requested publication made good business sense and just seemed like the natural next step," said Gloria Brown, vice president of Public Affairs at the Dallas Fed.
The script for the CD-ROM, based on the updated Building Wealth, brought the workbook's characters to life. Betty, the planner; Bob, the struggler; Lynne, the impulsive; Duncan, the entrepreneur; Pauline, the victim of predatory lending; and others all got voices and actions to illustrate the rewards of budgeting, planning, saving and investing and the pitfalls of failing to do so.
The CD-ROM features introductory remarks by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher. It contains interactive worksheets that enable users to enter their own financial data to determine their net worth and develop a budget. Other features allow users to calculate interest on savings—or on debt.
Building Wealth has been accessed by millions of people across the country. It has been well received by educators, bankers, credit counseling agencies and community-based organizations.
"We expect this interactive program to broaden the appeal of this important financial literacy resource," said Brown.
To access the interactive version of Building Wealth on the Dallas Fed web site, go to http://dallasfed.org/ca/wealth/index.cfm .
e-Perspectives, Volume 7, Issue 1, 2007