NASAA Highlights Financial Education Efforts at Inaugural Meeting of National Financial Education Network

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 17, 2007) —Tennessee Assistant Commissioner for Securities Daphne Smith, on behalf of the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), today highlighted the significant role state and provincial securities regulators serve in providing financial education to constituents of all ages.

Speaking at the federal Financial Literacy and Education Commission’s (FLEC) inaugural meeting of National Financial Education Network, Smith said NASAA members share a common concern and commitment with the members of the Commission.

“We share your concern about the deficient level of financial literacy in this country and the impact it has on personal financial decision-making. We also share a willingness and commitment to doing something about it,” said Smith, who also serves as chair of the Investor Education Section of NASAA, the oldest international organization devoted to investor protection. NASAA’s membership consists of the securities administrators in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Canada, and Mexico.

Smith highlighted several financial education initiatives led by NASAA members, including:

  • Seniors Against Investment Fraud (SAIF), launched by the California Department of Corporations to educate seniors about how to avoid becoming a victim of investment fraud. Other NASAA members have used the SAIF program as a blueprint for similar senior outreach efforts within their jurisdictions.
  • Operation Armed Services Asset Protection (ASAP) developed by the Pennsylvania Securities Commission to give military personnel and their families the tools they need to invest wisely and avoid scams. Other NASAA members have created similar programs.
  • God’s Fraud Squad,” developed by the British Columbia Securities Commission, and “Preying on Those Who Pray,” developed by the New Mexico Securities Division, to raise awareness and protect religious congregations from affinity fraud.
  • Avoiding Investor Scams,” an interactive online game launched by the New Jersey Bureau of Securities to educate investors about real life investment fraud.

Smith also outlined the outreach efforts that NASAA members routinely make with financial literacy partners, such as, Jump$tart and the American Savings Education Council, to reach investors of all ages.  “While NASAA jurisdictions have a full plate when it comes to investor education activities reaching more than 20,000 investors in 300 presentations in the last six months alone, we also look for opportunities to join forces with other members of the financial education community,” Smith said.

“We believe it is essential to pool our resources and share our expertise on these joint ventures,” Smith said. ““The success of all of our investor education efforts starts at the grass roots level. If we manage to reach only one person, and save that person from losing their life’s savings or the money to fund their child’s education, we will have made a huge difference in that person’s life. Multiply that by how many people we can collectively reach in a week, a month or a year. We can make an enormous difference in a relatively short period of time.”

Smith said NASAA fully supports the Commission’s goal of promoting financial education and improving the financial literacy of all Americans. “NASAA members have traditionally been a highly effective resource in the pursuit of greater financial literacy. We represent a nationwide network of highly trained, unbiased, non-commercial experts in financial services, products and fraud avoidance.  We stand ready to assist the Commission and serve as a resource, as you move forward in cultivating the National Financial Education Network and improving the level of financial literacy in this country.”

For more information:
Bob Webster, Director of Communications
Melinda Semadeni, Investor Education Manager

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