|December 2, 2011
George Smaragdis, FINRA Foundation
Tom Jackovic, USA Track & Field Foundation
WASHINGTON — The FINRA Investor Education Foundation and the USA Track & Field Foundation (USATF Foundation) announced today that they are working together to help track and field athletes spot and avoid investment fraud and make informed financial decisions.
The FINRA Foundation will present its Outsmarting Investment Fraud (OIF) curriculum at the 2011 USA Track & Field Annual Meeting (November 30 – December 4), where track and field professionals will learn how to check the background of financial professionals and spot an investment that is too good to be true. The FINRA and USATF foundations will work together to identify additional opportunities to provide financial education to track and field athletes.
"We are fortunate to have the FINRA Foundation and its investor education program now benefiting USA Track & Field athletes," said USATF Foundation Director Dan McClory, who was involved with the planning and launch of the pioneering program. "Our support of the USA's elite track professionals now includes the same program the FINRA Foundation delivers to NFL players," McClory concluded.
The FINRA Foundation's OIF curriculum reveals the tricks of the con artist's trade by highlighting the psychological persuasion tactics con artists use to get their victims to make emotional rather than logical investment decisions. For track and field athletes, an understanding of these psychological tactics and how they can be used against investors can help them avoid becoming a con artist's next victim. The educational curriculum that will be delivered has been tested and shown to reduce susceptibility to investment fraud by over 50 percent among participants.
"We are proud to work with the USA Track & Field Foundation to provide information and resources to help these athletes avoid financial pitfalls and help them make better and better informed financial decisions," said Gerri Walsh, President of the FINRA Investor Education Foundation.
The FINRA Investor Education Foundation is the largest foundation in the United States dedicated to investor education. Its mission is to provide investors with high-quality, easily accessible information and tools to better understand the markets and the basic principles of saving and investing.
The USATF Foundation provides a means to attract and guide funds to new and innovative track and field programs with an emphasis on providing opportunities for youth athletes, emerging elite athletes, distance training centers and anti-doping education.