MADISON, Wis. (9/22/09)--Heartland CU will participate in an 18-month study that aims to identify the right mix of online education, coaching and follow-up information to encourage proactive investment behavior. The Madison, Wis.-based credit union said it will immerse as many staff as possible in an investment education project that will aim to motivate their own investing and stimulate investing. As many as 4,000 credit union staff and volunteers in Wisconsin--including tellers, member service representatives, loan officers, management and others--will participate in the program, which offers 30,000 hours of online investment education, according to the Wisconsin Credit Union League. "Fear of job losses has pushed Americans to save more now than ever, but saving without regular investing still wouldn't be enough to properly prepare people for their long-term goals," said Sally Dischler, president/CEO of Heartland CU. "Our nation is in dire straits in part because so many individuals and families are under-prepared for retirement and commonly fail to use other investment vehicles, such as savings programs for health care and higher education," Dischler said. "So we not only need to get more Americans growing their nest eggs through investing but also figure out--in light of today's extraordinary economic circumstances--how best to motivate consistent investing over a lifetime," she said. Heartland's participation is part of its ongoing REAL Solutions initiative, which strives to help Wisconsin families improve their financial position over time by encouraging saving and investing, improved creditworthiness and long-term wealth building. The study is being conducted in partnership with the Puelicher Center for Banking Education at the Wisconsin School of Business, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Precision Information, the Wisconsin Credit Union League, Gov. Jim Doyle's Council on Financial Literacy and the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions. It is funded by a grant from Investor Protection Trust, a nonprofit organization devoted to investor education.