Ric and Jean Edelman Offer $25 Million to Fund Planned XPRIZE Competition Seeking Innovative Approaches to Detecting and Ultimately Curing Alzheimer’s Disease

Oct 19, 2017


Liz Dougherty
(703) 991-1695 

Fairfax, VA, Oct. 19, 2017 – Ric and Jean Edelman, founders of Edelman Financial Services, have offered a $25 million donation to the XPRIZE competition focused on Alzheimer’s, supporting development of innovative approaches to combat Alzheimer’s disease. Their announcement was made at last week's 2017 XPRIZE Visioneers Summit, held in Southern California.

Alzheimer’s was one of five proposals considered by a group of 250 prominent corporate and government leaders, including many of the world’s top innovators, respected philanthropists and leading entrepreneurs. The Alzheimer’s team received the highest evaluation score at the XPRIZE Visioneers Summit. The other proposals pertained to clean air, zero-waste mining, cybersecurity and reimagining democracy.

The Edelmans’ proposed donation is intended to provide vital funding for an XPRIZE competition focused on Alzheimer’s, including design and analysis for launch, a multimillion-dollar prize and funds to facilitate research, infrastructure and operational support to teams choosing to compete for the prize.

A nonprofit organization, XPRIZE is a global leader in incentivized prize competitions. XPRIZE utilizes a unique combination of gamification, crowdsourcing, incentive prize theory and exponential technologies to make 10x (vs. 10%) impact in the grand challenges facing humanity.

The idea of an XPRIZE competition focusing on Alzheimer’s was conceived in November 2012 by Age Wave visionary Ken Dychtwald, Ph.D., and XPRIZE founder Peter Diamandis, M.D. The Edelmans joined the fight shortly thereafter, working with the Alzheimer’s Disease Team created by Dr. Dychtwald to develop an XPRIZE competition focused on Alzheimer’s. More than 100 leading neuroscientists, advocates and exponential technology experts contributed to the effort, including the Chevy Chase, MD-based UsAgainstAlzheimer’s Coalition.

“Jean and I are honored to offer this vital funding to encourage innovative approaches to defeat Alzheimer’s,” said Ric Edelman. “We have seen firsthand the devastating impact of this dreadful disease on so many of our firm's clients, and we are thrilled at the opportunity to support the XPRIZE Foundation and the Alzheimer’s Disease Team so we can start working on new ways to detect, diagnose and ultimately eradicate Alzheimer's disease.”

Alzheimer’s disease affects 5.5 million Americans, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, a figure that is expected to triple in coming decades. Already, 15 million Americans — usually family members — provide unpaid care to assist those with the disease. Currently, Alzheimer’s disease is 100% incurable and 100% fatal. The XPRIZE competition focusing on Alzheimer’s plans to globally crowdsource solutions for early detection and diagnosis of the disease, ultimately leading to a cure. The Alzheimer’s Disease Team believes big data, artificial intelligence and other exponential technologies will lead to breakthroughs that achieve these goals.

“With steadily increasing longevity, it’s hard to look at the future without realizing that Alzheimer’s disease may very well be the biggest challenge we’re going to face this century,” said Ken Dychtwald, Ph.D., founder and CEO of Age Wave. “With one in three people over the age of 85 stricken with this horrific disease, this coming pandemic doesn’t only affect the elderly — it impacts all of us: our moms, dads, wives, husbands, kids and friends.”

“We have seen so many of our clients’ lives devastated by the physical, emotional and financial impact of Alzheimer’s,” Jean Edelman said. “Now it’s time for all of us to work together and crack the code on Alzheimer’s, so every retiree — today and in the future — can enjoy true health and happiness, free of this terrible disease.” 

About Ric Edelman

Ric Edelman, founder and executive chairman of Edelman Financial Services, is widely regarded as one of the top financial advisors in the field. He was ranked the nation’s #1 Independent Financial Advisor three times by Barron’s1 and was named among the country’s Top Wealth Advisors by Forbes magazine2 in 2017. Ric is also the 2017 recipient of the IARFC’s Loren Dunton Memorial Award,3 a lifetime achievement award for his substantial contributions to the financial services profession and the financial interests of the public, and was named one of the “10 most influential figures” in the advisory field by RIABiz in 2013.4 Ric is an award-winning radio and television personality5 and a #1 New York Times bestselling author. His ninth book, The Truth About Your Future, was published in March and became an instant New York Times Best Seller.6 Ric is an inductee of the Financial Advisor Hall of Fame,7 sponsored by Research magazine, a Distinguished Lecturer at Rowan University, a resident expert for Dr. Oz and a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Personal Finance.

Visit Ric online at RicEdelman.com.

About Jean Edelman

Jean Edelman, co-founder of Edelman Financial Services, is one of the most successful women in the Washington, D.C., business community. While Ric emphasizes the more traditional elements of personal finance, Jean focuses on The Other Side of Money, sharing her insights to help us see ourselves and the world around us in a positive, loving way. Jean serves on several corporate and nonprofit boards, including an appointment to the Rowan University Board of Trustees in 2012 by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. As a student, Jean was Rowan’s first female president of the Student Government Association, recipient of the Distinguished Senior Award in her graduating year and named the university’s Alumnus of the Year in 1994. Her degree is in home economics, consumer economics, marketing and nutrition.

Jean and Ric are benefactors of the Inova Edelman Center for Nursing at Inova Health Foundation, the Edelman Planetarium and the Edelman Fossil Park — both at Rowan University. They also actively support the Boys & Girls Clubs, HEROES Inc., the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the Northern Virginia Therapeutic Riding Program and many other charities.

Visit Jean online at JeanEdelman.com.

About Edelman Financial Services

Edelman Financial Services is one of the nation’s largest independent financial planning firms8  with 163 financial planners and 43 offices coast-to-coast, provides financial planning and investment management services to more than 34,000 individuals and families, and manages more than $20.6 billion in assets.9  The firm also provides 401(k) plans and institutional investment management for businesses. Edelman Financial Services has won more than 100 financial, business, community and philanthropic awards,10  and offers an investment philosophy that puts clients first and delivers value through in-depth financial education, personalized financial plans and unfettered access to planners.11


XPRIZE, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is the global leader in designing and implementing innovative competition models to solve the world’s grandest challenges. XPRIZE designs for impact using its “Four Pillar Strategic Framework,” which includes impact architecture, impact design, prize development and execution, and impact scale. XPRIZE utilizes a unique combination of gamification, crowdsourcing, incentive prize theory and exponential technologies as a formula to make 10x (vs. 10%) impact in the grand challenge domains facing our world. XPRIZE’s philosophy is that — under the right circumstances — igniting rapid experimentation from a variety of diverse lenses is the most efficient and effective method to driving exponential impact and solutions to grand challenges. Active competitions include the $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE, the $20 million NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, the $15 million Global Learning XPRIZE, the $7 million Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE, the $7 million Barbara Bush Foundation Adult Literacy XPRIZE, the $5 million IBM Watson AI XPRIZE, the $1.75 million Water Abundance XPRIZE, and the $1 million Anu & Naveen Jain Women’s Safety XPRIZE. For more information, visit www.xprize.org.

About the Alzheimer’s XPRIZE Team

More than 100 leading neuroscientists and exponential technology experts have contributed their ideas and insights to this process. Funding for an XPRIZE focusing on Alzheimer’s has been provided since 2013 by a group of individuals who want to see this disease stopped. Donors include Ken and Maddy Dychtwald, George and Trish Vradenburg, Frank and Barbara Sullivan, Daniel and Nancy Katz, Ric and Jean Edelman, Andrew Sieg, Emanuel J. Friedman Philanthropies, Meryl Comer, Paul Dolan and John Dwyer. 

About UsAgainstAlzheimer’s

Founded by Trish and George Vradenburg in 2010, UsAgainstAlzheimer’s is an innovative, patient-centered nonprofit organization demanding a solution to Alzheimer’s. Driven by the suffering of millions of families, UsAgainstAlzheimer’s presses for greater urgency from government, industry and the scientific community in the quest for an Alzheimer's cure, accomplishing this through its own patient-centered effective leadership, collaborative advocacy and strategic investments. http://www.usagainstalzheimers.org

About Age Wave

Founded in 1986, Age Wave is a pioneer in the exploration of the business, economic, social and personal impact of the longevity revolution. Under the leadership of founders Ken and Maddy Dychtwald, Age Wave advises businesses, governments and nonprofits worldwide on the opportunities and challenges of an aging population. More than half the Fortune 500 and numerous nonprofit and government groups worldwide have been clients of Age Wave. www.agewave.com


Ric Edelman is an Investment Advisor Representative who offers advisory services through Edelman Financial Services, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor. He is also a Registered Representative and Registered Principal of, and offers securities through, EF Legacy Securities, LLC, an affiliated broker/dealer, member FINRA/SIPC.

1 According to Barron's, "The formula [used] to rank advisors has three major components: assets managed, revenue produced and quality of the advisor's practice. Investment returns are not a component of the rankings because an advisor's returns are dictated largely by each client's risk tolerance. The quality-of-practice component includes an evaluation of each advisor's regulatory record." The rankings are based on the universe of applications submitted to Barron's. The selection process begins with a nomination and application provided to Barron's. Principals of Edelman Financial Services, LLC self-nominated the firm and submitted quantitative and qualitative information to Barron's as requested. Barron's reviewed and considered this information, which resulted in the rankings on Aug. 27, 2012/Aug. 28, 2010/Aug. 31, 2009.

2 Forbes rankings are the opinion of SHOOK Research and are based on advisor interviews, client retention, industry experience, compliance record, assets under management and revenue generated for the firm. Investment performance is not considered. Advisors do not pay to be in the ranking.

3 Presented by the International Association of Registered Financial Consultants (IARFC). Candidates must hold a professional designation and must have disseminated their comments on financial topics by having them widely published in articles, journals, books, etc. They must have provided outstanding personal service or leadership in the financial services industry. Nominees must have participated in some aspect of financial education to the public or to other members of the profession. Investor experience/returns were not considered.

4 The RIABiz listing of the 10 most influential figures in the Registered Investment Advisor industry is in recognition of notable, driven and influential executives who are advancing their firms and are considered to be influential in the RIA business. Investor experience/returns were not considered as part of this ranking.

5 Throughout the firm’s 30-year history, EFS and Ric Edelman have been presented with numerous business, advisory, communication and community service awards. More information on these awards can be found at EdelmanFinancial.com/awards.

6 The New York Times Book Review Advice, How-To and Miscellaneous. April 16, 2017.

7 Research magazine cover story “Advisor Hall of Fame,” December 2004 (based on serving a minimum of 15 years in the industry, having acquired substantial assets under management, demonstrating superior client service and having earned recognition from peers and the broader community for how they reflect on their profession). Investor experience/returns were not considered as part of this ranking.

8 WealthManagement.com's “Top 100 RIAs of 2015” ranking was assembled using data from Meridian-IQ. Advisory firms are ranked by total assets under management. To land on the list, firms had to have a focus on financial and retirement planning for individual and high-net-worth clients. And institutional clients do not make up a substantial portion of their businesses. Finally, none of these firms are owned by a bank, broker/dealer or investment company. Investor experience/returns were not considered as part of this ranking. Edelman Financial Services ranked 3rd.

As of Sept. 30, 2017.

10 Throughout the firm’s 30-year history, EFS and Ric Edelman have been presented with numerous business, advisory, communication and community service awards. More information on these awards can be found at EdelmanFinancial.com/awards.

11 Investing strategies, such as asset allocation, diversification, or rebalancing do not assure or guarantee better performance and cannot eliminate the risk of investment losses. There are no guarantees that a portfolio employing these or any other strategy will outperform a portfolio that does not engage in such strategies. Funds and ETFs are subject to risk, including loss of principal. All investments have inherent risks. There can be no assurance that the investment strategy proposed will obtain its goal. Past performance does not guarantee future results.