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What a Cab Ride: Real People, Real Financial Problems, Real Financial Advice

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What happens when you offer people a free cab ride with a financial professional-and film it? Des Moines-based financial professional, Jenny Smith, found out first hand as part of a national effort to drive people to take action on their financial dreams.

For the second year in a row, the Principal Financial Group(R) offered free cab rides-this time in Chicago-and filmed real people discussing financial concerns with financial professionals and money expert, Jean Chatzky.

The resulting Financial Lift films-posted at and on The Principal YouTube channel-show that getting started on reaching financial goals can be as easy as a conversation in a cab.

“I was pleasantly surprised people were so willing to share their real-life financial concerns with a complete stranger-while being filmed,” said Jenny Smith, financial professional with the Midwest Region Business Center in West Des Moines. “The experience demonstrates that people want help but human nature often blocks that first step. The cab ride provided a ready opportunity in a comfortable setting for people to talk freely. Nearly every rider left the taxi feeling motivated to take action.”

Smith is in included two films featuring a conversation about how to grow and protect a business and a retiree who worries about running out of money. She is also featured in a 30-second television commercial, broadcast nationally over several networks.

Everyday Americans-everyday concerns

The films feature a diverse array of everyday Americans-those starting out to those in retirement-looking for help with the spectrum of common financial dilemmas, from managing debt to saving for retirement to protecting savings.

“Americans can see themselves and their financial situations in these powerful conversations,” said John Derbick, global advertising director at The Principal(R). “Most importantly, they can see how a financial professional offers simple, concrete steps to help clients reach financial goals. That’s why we created more films, to spur more people into taking action to save, grow and protect their finances now and into retirement.”

Resources to jumpstart action

The Principal’s Planning Center is an easy-to-use online resource for individuals, business owners and financial advisors. In addition to the Financial Lift films, the site also features calculators, financial tips and other tools to help guide people on the path to financial action.

The videos that include Jenny Smith can be found here:

The Midwest Regional Business Center is located 6701 Westown Parkway, Suite 200

West Des Moines, IA 50266, phone: 515.246.4000 or 800.447.9049.

About the Principal Financial Group

The Principal Financial Group(R) (The Principal(R))1 is a global investment management leader offering retirement services, insurance solutions and asset management. The Principal offers businesses, individuals and institutional clients a wide range of financial products and services, including retirement, asset management and insurance through its diverse family of financial services companies. Founded in 1879 and a member of the FORTUNE 500(R), the Principal Financial Group has $513.5 billion in assets under management2 and serves some 19.5 million customers worldwide from offices in Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America and the United States. Principal Financial Group, Inc. is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol PFG. For more information, visit

Insurance products from the Principal Financial Group(R) are issued by Principal National Life Ins Co (except in NY) and Principal Life Insurance Co. Securities offered through Princor Financial Services Corp, 800/247-1737, member SIPC. Principal National, Principal Life, and Princor(R) are members of the Principal Financial Group(R), Des Moines, IA 50392. Financial professionals are representatives of Principal National and Principal Life, and Registered Representatives of Princor.


1 “The Principal Financial Group” and “The Principal” are registered service marks of Principal Financial Services, Inc., a member of the Principal Financial Group.
2 As of Sept. 30, 2014.

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