President's Year 2000 Council, SEC, NASD, SIA Team Up to Educate Investors About Y2K Preparations
'Kit' Provides Resources to Address Public Concerns
Washington, D.C., June 10 -- The President’s Council on Year 2000 Conversion, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the National Association of Securities Dealers, and the Securities Industry Association are teaming up to help investors prepare for the Year 2000. At the core of this effort is a communications kit to help firms, markets, regulators, and the media provide information to the public about the Y2K readiness of the financial services industry. This "Year 2000 Investor Kit" was jointly developed by the NASD, SEC, and SIA.
"Educating the public about Y2K is our common goal," said John Koskinen, chair of the President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion. "By joining together, we hope to reach the greatest number of Americans and answer any questions or concerns that they may have about how the date change could affect their financial accounts and transactions."
"The securities industry has been working diligently to prepare for the year 2000 computer problem, and I am confident that it will achieve its goal," said Arthur Levitt, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. "This important effort will help to ensure that investors are also prepared. It is important for investors to educate themselves about the Y2K preparedness of their securities firms as well as any other financial companies they deal with."
"We're continuing our all-out effort to inform investors about how the industry has tackled the Y2k bug," said Frank G. Zarb, NASD chairman and CEO. "The 'Year 2000 Investor Kit' gives firms a roadmap to enhance their Y2K communication efforts so that they can deliver key information directly to their clients."
The "Year 2000 Investor Kit" provides a list of tips to help investors prepare for the Year 2000. Investors are advised to:
- Keep good records (an idea that makes good sense at any time);
- Stay informed about what their financial service providers are doing to become Y2K ready;
- Obtain any Year 2000 literature provided by broker/dealers, mutual funds, investment advisers or public companies they hold stock in;
- Invest for the long term and avoid changing their trading habits;
- Not worry about obtaining stock certificates; and,
- Check the Y2K readiness of personal computers.
The kit also features a concise review of the financial services industry's efforts to prevent Y2K computer problems; a list of frequently asked questions for investors; a Year 2000 checklist; and information on how to check personal computers and fax machines for potential Y2K problems.
"We want investors to have the facts," said SIA President Marc Lackritz. "We're confident that it will be business as usual in the year 2000. That's why, for example, we're stressing that there is no need for investors to obtain paper certificates for their stock and bond holdings. The 'Year 2000 Investor Kit' will go a long way toward helping the industry build on the strong public trust and confidence it has earned with the successful industrywide Y2K computer-testing project."
The public can access the "Year 2000 Investor Kit" through the NASD Web site: www.nasd.com. Printed copies will be available in early July by calling 1-888-227-1330 or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The kits will also soon be provided to securities firms for distribution to their clients.
Investors can check on the Y2K preparedness of broker-dealers, mutual funds, and investment advisors on the SEC Web site at: www.sec.gov.