Friday, March 2, 2007
NASD Foundation Announces Targeted Investor Protection Grant Program
Washington, DC – The NASD Investor Education Foundation launched a new grant program this week, formally inviting non-profit groups and researchers to apply for funding for projects designed to protect investors from fraud. Grant proposals must be submitted by June 11.
The targeted grant program is aimed at raising investors' awareness about fraudulent tactics, encouraging investors to conduct due diligence before committing to an investment and taking precautions to safeguard their financial and other personal information. Applicants are encouraged to read the Investor Fraud Study, which looks at why certain elderly investors were more susceptible to investment fraud than others and exposes the various tactics used by criminals to exploit seniors. The NASD Foundation, in cooperation with The Consumer Fraud Research Group, released the study in 2006.
"It is not enough to warn investors every time a new scam comes along," said Foundation Chairman Mary Schapiro, who also serves as NASD's Chairman and CEO. "It is more important – and, in the long run, far more effective – to help investors recognize what makes them susceptible to scams, so they can protect themselves from financial predators. The more easily investors can recognize a scam, the more easily they will recognize legitimate investment opportunities."
Project deliverables may include any combination of research reports, published papers and articles, communications tools and turnkey programs. For education projects, applicants are encouraged to devise cost-effective ways of evaluating their efforts. Research proposals must have practical outcomes for individual investors, regulators and nonprofit organizations active in the field of personal finance. Additional information is available in the NASD Foundation's grant guidelines available at www.nasdfoundation.org.
NASD Foundation has also announced a second cycle of its 2007 General Grant Program, which focuses on behavioral finance, the retirement income security of older Americans and new marketing and distribution channels for investor education. Proposals will be accepted from June 14 through August 10, and notifications will be made in late December.
The NASD Investor Education Foundation supports innovative research and educational projects that give investors the tools they need to better understand the markets and the basic principles of saving and investing. To date, the NASD Foundation has approved nearly $8.3 in grants and an additional $10.2 million in direct investor education programming. For details about grant programs and other NASD Foundation initiatives, visit www.nasdfoundation.org.
NASD is the leading private-sector provider of financial regulatory services, dedicated to investor protection and market integrity through effective and efficient regulation. NASD believes that understanding should precede investing – and that education is often the best form of investor protection. NASD's broad range of investor education programs include Investor Alerts, brochures and online resource guides on such critical topics as mutual fund class shares and 401(k) and college savings plans. This information is distributed through its Web site, www.nasd.com, printed materials and Investor Forums.