FINRA initiates investor education initiative

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The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) launched this week a $30 million initiative designed to help aid new investors as they navigate the financial markets.

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“Greater retail investor participation in our securities markets creates greater opportunity for these investors to accumulate wealth and achieve their long-term financial goals,” Robert Cook, president and Chief Executive Officer of FINRA and chair of the FINRA Foundation, said. “It is critical that newer investors understand both the benefits and the risks of participating in the financial markets. I am pleased that FINRA’s Board of Governors approved an initial investment of $30 million dedicated to help educate this segment of our investor population.”

The funds would be used to determine methods of reaching and educating investors, particularly new, self-directed retail investors conducting transactions through online accounts or using mobile apps.

Per FINRA, the effort’s initial phase involves the agency and its FINRA Foundation issuing a Special Notice seeking input by Aug. 30, 2021, from firms, investors, investor advocates, academics, and other stakeholders regarding effective ways to reach new investors.

In phase two, the entities are slated to introduce a comprehensive program seeking to educate the expanding group of new retail investors leveraging advancements in technology to enter the domestic securities markets.

“It is imperative that we effectively reach all investors and especially the newest generation of investors who are more comfortable trading on smartphones and more likely to seek input on investment decisions from friends, family, and online sources,” Gerri Walsh, president of the FINRA Foundation, said. “We know that engaging people in educational experiences, whether face-to-face or mediated by technology, can be challenging. We welcome feedback from a diverse array of stakeholders on how best to reach those who opt not to work with registered financial professionals.”

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