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Nonprofit seeks to provide financial education

COSTA MESA — There’s nothing Helen Olson likes to see more than a roomful of women with hands raised and tough-to-ask investment questions on their minds.

The annual Women Investing in Security and Education (WISE) Signature Financial Event, which returns to the Costa Mesa Center Club for its second year Tuesday, is a place where women are encouraged to do just that, said Olson, president of the Irvine-based nonprofit.

“What we have found in our events, and maybe because most people attending are women, is that women seem very comfortable asking questions in our events,” Olson said.

The event at the venue on 650 Town Center Drive, which is also open to men, is sold out at about 120 seats. WISE events and programs have typically had a popular showing of support by the local business community and are listed on the organization’s webpage,


The organization is in the works of planning its annual conference, and details will be posted in the coming months on the website.

WISE aims to facilitate the financial education of women at all age levels through a variety of different programs, Olson said.

Newport Beach-based Research Affiliates’ President and Executive Officer Rob Arnott is the featured speaker.

An investment panel including Laura Tarbox, president of the Tarbox group, and Susan King Riechel, managing director of fixed income investments for First Foundation Advisors, will also be included in the event lineup.


Arnott’s presentation will focus on the impact of changing age demographics on the country’s debt burden and deficit spending, or what he calls the “3-D Hurricane.”

“If you are aware of these things, you will be able to plan accordingly and invest accordingly,” Arnott said. “It’s important to recognize that the coming quarter century is going to be very different than the past quarter century.”

Arnott has received five Graham and Dodd Scrolls, awarded by the CFA Institute, for his articles in the Journal of Portfolio Management, the Harvard Business Review and the Financial Analysts. He also has received two Bernstein Fabozzi/Jacobs Levy awards from the Journal of Portfolio Management.

“In this economy, people really wonder, ‘What should I do?’ and ‘Where should I invest?’” Olson said. “I think [Arnott] will personalize more something that we live with and hear about all time. I’m looking forward to it and I think it will be very, very good.”

Twitter: @speters01