Looking for a good bedtime story for the kids? How about a children's book on the power of compound interest?
The tale, "Lucky the Golden Goose", was written by John D. Wrenn, managing director of investments for U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray Inc., Minneapolis.
"I wrote the story because I felt people needed to understand how money grows, which is compound interest," said Mr. Wrenn, who specializes in 529 college savings plans. "I thought it might be useful to illustrate to kids and parents."
The book, published by Red Truck Publishing in 1999, has given rise to a new U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray website, www.lucky529.com. It will be updated by July with a "call to action" to persuade parents to start 529 accounts. The website features Lucky, the company's guide to saving and investing. The homepage leads kids to Lucky's Farm, where they can watch cartoons in the barn, read "Lucky the Golden Goose" in the pumpkin patch or play games in the chicken coop. There is also an area where adults can get lessons on money and 529 saving plans.
MFS Investment Management, Boston, uses the book as a marketing tool to open the door in talks about 529 plans, said Bruce Harrington, 529 plan director for MFS. There's a connection: MFS manages Oregon's 529 plan, which Mr. Wrenn helped to establish. Mr. Wrenn was vice chairman of the Oregon Qualified Tuition Savings Board when MFS became provider for the plan, which is how MFS found out about the book.
"It ties in nicely with children's education. It's a gift item for clients," Mr. Harrington said. "We use it in mailings to pique people's interest."