The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced its commitment to emphasizing the significance of investor education and protection during the World Investor Week (WIW) 2023, which is scheduled from October 2nd to October 8th. The ever-evolving landscape of technologies and digital tools has revolutionized the investment landscape, making it more accessible and efficient. However, in this dynamic environment, taking the time to conduct due diligence becomes pivotal, aiding investors in steering clear of fraudulent schemes and enabling them to make well-informed investment choices.
Understanding World Investor Week
WIW, now in its seventh year, is a global initiative championed by the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO). This initiative unites regulatory bodies across six continents with a common goal – raising awareness about the critical importance of investor education and protection. The SEC is honored to serve as the national coordinator for this initiative in the United States. Collaborating closely with organizations like the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Securities Investor Protection Corporation, National Futures Association, and North American Securities Administrators Association, the SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy (OIEA) has issued a joint Investor Bulletin to highlight WIW’s key objectives.
WIW’s Key Initiatives
Throughout WIW, the SEC’s dedicated staff will organize a series of outreach events, each aimed at reinforcing the following crucial principles for investors:
Conducting Independent Research
- Conducting thorough research on investment opportunities is paramount.
- Empowering investors with the ability to make informed decisions.
Creating a Robust Investment Plan
- Building a risk-appropriate, long-term, and diversified investment strategy to weather economic changes and market fluctuations.
- Establishing an emergency fund for unforeseen financial challenges.
- Equipping investors with the skills to recognize fraudulent activities.
- Providing guidance on identifying red flags and safeguarding against fraud.
Words from SEC Chair Gary Gensler
SEC Chair Gary Gensler emphasized the centrality of investor protection in the SEC’s mission, stating, “Investor protection is at the heart of everything we do at the Securities and Exchange Commission, and World Investor Week provides an important opportunity to advance our mission.” He further encouraged investors from diverse backgrounds, including students, teachers, older investors, military service members, and underserved communities, to utilize the resources on Investor.gov and actively participate in the outreach events.
A Focus on Education
Lori Schock, Director of OIEA, underscored that education is a vital component of investor protection. She emphasized the importance of continuous learning and cautioned investors to ask questions, verify answers, invest only in opportunities they fully understand, and learn to safeguard their hard-earned money. OIEA’s Investor Alerts and Bulletins are valuable resources that educate investors about contemporary investment topics, inform them about prevalent scams, and provide guidance to make more informed investment decisions.
Protecting Your Retirement Money
As part of WIW, Ms. Schock shared a new Director’s Take article titled “Protecting Your Retirement Money.” This article offers investors practical tips on safeguarding their finances. It advises investors to scrutinize the backgrounds of their investment professionals, inquire about investment opportunities, recognize the warning signs of fraud, and avoid unsolicited requests for money through phone calls, texts, or emails.
Interactive Learning on Investor.gov
The SEC’s WIW page is designed to promote investor education and protection, featuring an interactive quiz to test investors’ knowledge of key investing concepts.
Wide-Ranging Outreach Events
Throughout WIW, the SEC will conduct diverse outreach events, both in-person and virtual, including:
1. Saving, Investing, and Fraud Protection Presentations
- Targeted at older investors, military service members, teachers, and individuals reentering society.
2. Classroom Activities
- Conducted for high school and college students, including events at Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
3. AARP Fraud Watch Network Facebook Event
- An interactive online session focused on fraud awareness and protection.
4. Radio Interviews
- Covering topics of utmost importance to older investors.
5. Thrift Savings Plan Program Event
- Tailored for federal employees to enhance their financial well-being.
Get Involved with WIW
To learn more about the SEC’s extensive outreach activities and actively participate in WIW, please visit the SEC’s World Investor Week page. Additionally, you can explore a wealth of investor education and protection resources on Investor.gov.
Investor protection and education stand as the cornerstones of the SEC’s commitment to safeguarding the interests of all investors. World Investor Week 2023 offers a unique opportunity for individuals of diverse backgrounds to enhance their financial literacy and take informed steps towards securing their financial futures.
Have a securities law question? Call New York Securities Lawyers at 212-509-6544.