WASHINGTON (February 22, 2011) – Sunday, Feb. 20 marked the start of America Saves Week, a seven-day campaign to encourage Americans to save for a secure retirement. America Saves Week may spur investors to revisit their investment portfolios and consider new ways to put their savings to work for them. The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) urges investors to do their homework before they make any investment decisions.
“The first step toward becoming an informed investor is to contact your state securities regulator,” said NASAA President and North Carolina Deputy Securities Administrator David Massey. “State securities regulators can help you check out the licensing and background of anyone offering investment advice or selling investments and help you verify that an investment is properly registered for sale in your state.”
Find contact information for each state securities regulator here.
State securities regulators also provide free online investor education resources to help investors evaluate the risks of various investment opportunities and spot the red flags of fraud.
“NASAA’s Informed Investor series is a great place to get started on your way to savvy and safe investing,” Massey said. The online series of brief alerts and advisories helps investors assess popular investment opportunities, such as:
- Franchises. High unemployment rates may spur would-be entrepreneurs to consider taking their futures into their own hands by starting a small business. Investing in an established franchise can be an attractive path to becoming your own boss, but investors should be aware of the potential pitfalls. “Make sure you take steps to protect yourself should your venture not take off as planned,” Massey said.
- Gold-related Investments. “It is a myth to say that gold is a safe investment,” Massey said. Gold is a commodity, and, like other commodities, its price can fluctuate dramatically. NASAA encourages investors to read up on the many ways to invest in gold and learn the facts about each option before deciding to invest.
- Peer-to-Peer Lending. Acting as online loan “matchmakers”, peer-to-peer lending services allow individuals and small businesses to receive loans that would otherwise be difficult or costly to obtain from traditional banks, while investors fund such loans based on the promise of a capital return. “Keep in mind that there are several risks to take into account before getting involved,” Massey said.
NASAA is a proud partner of the Consumer Federation of America’s America Saves Week, which aims to promote personal savings and improve financial education. For more information on America Saves Week, visit www.americasavesweek.org.
State securities regulators mark America Saves Week by cautioning investors to “investigate before they invest” by asking their local state securities regulator for detailed information about their broker, adviser or investment product before they hand over any money.
For more information:
Bob Webster, Director of Communications
Leah Szarek, Asst. Manager of Communications and Investor Education