Investment company organizes wallet scavenger hunt on campus

Students could win up to $100 Tuesday by participating in an online scavenger hunt.

The New Age Investor, a company aimed at educating young adults about money management and financial decision-making techniques, is sponsoring a virtual Wallet Hunt for GW students as a marketing ploy.

At least five “wallets” redeemable for between $25 and $100 will be hidden on the company’s and its sponsor’s Web sites, and registered participants will receive riddles suggesting where they can be found.

“It’s fun because everyone interprets the clues in different ways,” said Emory University senior Brett Klasko, the company’s founder. “The clues lead them to another one or the wallet.”

Klasko said the company typically gets 500 students pre-registered for the event. GW students can continue registering on the company’s Web site, www.newageinvestor.com, until Tuesday morning at 10 a.m., when the hunt begins.

The company plans to give out at least $250 total to the hunt’s participants. Klasko said that he and his colleagues will be monitoring the virtual wallets throughout the day of the hunt and will be releasing more information depending on how many students register and how easily the wallets are found.

The company has held physical Wallet Hunts on the campuses of Emory University, Florida State University, University of Florida and Auburn University in Alabama. Although this is the company’s first online hunt, Klasko said he thinks that it will be a success, much like the others.

“Students are not going to turn down the opportunity to find free money,” he said. Originally the Wallet Hunt was scheduled to be on campus April 27. Klasko said that the event was not effectively organized and had to be rescheduled online.

Klasko said GW is a “target school” for the company because it has an “attractive student base.” He also said that he believes GW students will be responsive because they already have “some degree of money-savvy ness.”

“Our goal is to educate them on everything money – investing, budgeting – all the different financial aspects of their lives,” he said.

The company educates students through their Web site by giving them tips on how to manage money efficiently. The service is currently free for students, but Klasko said they are working on offering more extensive services in the future.

“The company has been profitable,” Klasko said. “It makes its money mostly through advertising. We mostly get money from companies looking to target students.”

Klasko and several of his peers at Emory University in Atlanta created the New Age Investor in 2003 after witnessing their friends struggle with finances. The New Age Investor is a part of Investors Alley, a similar company geared more toward adults, created by Klasko when he was 13 years old.

“We saw a growing need. We had friends with $7,500 in credit card debt in their sophomore year of college,” Klasko said. “The need is there and we’re providing the service.”

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