GE Financial Site Plans Latino Version

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General Electric Co.'s GE Center for Financial Learning LLC soon will target the nation's fastest-growing ethnic minority with a Spanish-language version of its financial literacy Web site.


Though GE has missed several deadlines, it is likely that a Hispanic-focused interpretation of its 3-year-old site at www.financiallearning.com will go live sometime this year.


"We'd like to reach the Latino market, and there's a need to provide [financial] education to Spanish-speaking constituents," Michelle G. Tinkler, site editor for financiallearning.com, said at Richmond Events Inc.'s Marketing Forum on board the Adonia cruise liner this month.


Specifics of the Hispanic site so far are not etched in stone. But it is likely the English-language site will be translated into Spanish, possibly incorporating characteristics unique to that market.


"It's been clear that entering the Latino market is [an] initiative for GE and GE Financial," said Tinkler, based in Norwalk, CT. "There's a great client base and the need to address this market."


That said, financiallearning.com aims to be an impartial Internet-based education resource for personal financial and life-event planning. It does not tout any GE product or service, running only the GE logo and tagline throughout the site.


About 2,000 pages deep, the site is divided into six sections: financial life events, financial products, a resource center, online courses, interactive workshops and a personal planner.


Registration allows the user to get customized content from the GE Center for Financial Learning. It also lets the center create a personalized learning plan for the user. Details needed for registration include name, e-mail, user name, password, community, address, gender, marital status, financial expertise and income range.


In addition, the user can check boxes to receive information on topics like retirement planning, life insurance, annuities and healthcare finance. There is also an option to opt in for periodic e-mail updates regarding the center.


GE Center for Financial Learning has clarified that the information gathered will not be sold or traded to other companies or organizations.


A combination of public relations, speaking engagements by GE Center for Financial Learning executives and a smattering of advertising promotes the site. PepperCom, New York, handles PR.


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