|Monday, June 15, 2009
Nancy Condon (202) 728-8379
George Smaragdis (202) 728-8988
Washington, DC — The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced today new initiatives aimed at protecting and educating investors. The initiatives include a national advertising campaign and a 60-minute video, "Tricks of the Trade: Outsmarting Investment Fraud," as well as grassroots campaigns in Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, Vermont and Washington state to protect seniors from investment fraud.
"Informing and educating investors is an essential component of our investor protection mission," said FINRA Chairman and CEO Richard G. Ketchum. "The recent market turmoil makes it more important than ever that investors be aware of FINRA and the tools and resources that we provide to help them plan their financial futures, protect their interests and make informed investment decisions."
The video, "Tricks of the Trade: Outsmarting Investment Fraud," is a 60-minute broadcast-quality presentation on preventing investment fraud. Using profiles of victims and perpetrators, the video highlights the persuasion tactics that con artists use to defraud their victims and the basic tools investors need to defend against fraud. A trailer of the video is available at www.saveandinvest.org/tricksofthetrade; the full video will be released in July, but can be pre-ordered. "Tricks of the Trade: Outsmarting Investment Fraud" will also be distributed in public libraries throughout the country and shown at movie premieres in selected states.
"Tricks of the Trade: Outsmarting Investment Fraud," is a project of the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, which is the largest U.S. foundation devoted to investor education. The Foundation, established in 2003, focuses on providing underserved Americans with the knowledge, skills and tools necessary for financial success.
The video is part of the FINRA Foundation's new "fraud-fighting" education series for investors, which also includes in-person workshops and events in five states across the country this year: Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, Vermont and Washington state. These state-wide campaigns, which will be expanded to five additional states next year, are being presented in partnership with AARP, state securities regulators and other fraud-fighting organizations to help senior citizens identify and steer clear of investment fraud. A central feature of these campaigns is the presentation of an educational curriculum that has been tested and shown to reduce seniors' susceptibility to investment fraud by over 50 percent among participants.
The national advertising campaign includes television, radio and online spots. The advertisements focus on FINRA's mission of protecting investors and inform the public about FINRA's educational resources at its Web site, www.finra.org.
The advertising campaign will air on CNN, Discovery, FOX News, The Learning Channel and The History Channel cable networks and ABC Radio Network, Westwood One, United Stations and Premiere Radio Networks. Online advertising will run on various news and information sites, including CNN, Google, Yahoo, Washington Post and Monster. The advertising campaign was developed for FINRA by Doremus New York.
FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, is the largest independent regulator for all securities firms doing business in the United States. FINRA is dedicated to investor protection and market integrity through comprehensive regulation. FINRA touches virtually every aspect of the securities business - from registering and educating all industry participants to examining securities firms; writing and enforcing rules and the federal securities laws; informing and educating the investing public; providing trade reporting and other industry utilities; and administering the largest dispute resolution forum for investors and firms. For more information, please visit our Web site at www.finra.org.
The FINRA Investor Education Foundation is the largest foundation in the U.S. 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. To further this mission, the Foundation awards grants to fund educational programs and research aimed at segments of the investing public who could benefit from additional resources. Since inception, the FINRA Foundation has received approximately 400 proposals requesting nearly $88 million in funding. For details about grant programs and other FINRA Foundation initiatives, visit www.finrafoundation.org.