|January 18 , 2012|
|In this Issue:||Saving and Investing Tips for 2012||Crowdfunding||Money Smart Week||National Consumer Protection Week||New York Traders Expo|
Do you have a New Year's resolution to become a smarter investor? If so, the Securities and Exchange Commission has provided tips to help you achieve your goal!
Pay off high-interest debt. Paying off high-interest debt may be your best investment strategy. Few investments pay off as well as, or with less risk than, eliminating high-interest debt on credit card or other loans.
Pay yourself first. Regular automatic deductions from your paycheck or bank account into a savings or investment account will keep you on track toward your short and long-term financial goals.
Help stop affinity fraud in your community. Affinity fraud refers to investment scams that prey upon members of identifiable groups. Learn how you can help protect yourself and your community from the potentially devastating impact of affinity fraud. By the way, affinity fraud is only one of the types of schemes you might encounter. If you are interested, NFA has a video that discusses investments schemes more in depth.
Don't put all your eggs in one basket. Think twice before investing heavily in shares of your employer's stock or any individual investment.
Understand the fees you pay to buy, own and sell your investments. Investment costs shouldn't take you by surprise. Fees and expenses vary from product to product and can take a huge bite out of your returns. Even small differences in investment costs can translate into large differences in returns over time.
Teach your children about good financial habits. Recent research suggests that direct teaching by parents is an important predictor of a young person's future financial success.
Check the background of your investment professional. Many investors do not know that you can check the background of a broker or investment adviser. It's free and easy - and a key step for avoiding investment fraud. If you are investing with a futures broker, you can conduct a background check using NFA's BASIC system.
These are just a few tips but make sure to check out the entire list of the SEC's 12 Saving and Investing Tips for 2012.
Have you ever received an email asking you to help financially support small businesses? If not, you might now so be on the lookout. Read on to understand how this proposed legislation might affect you!
The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed H.R. 2930 also known as the Entrepreneur Access to Capital Act. This legislation, which amends the Securities Act of 1993, addresses the concept of 'crowdfunding' by enabling entrepreneurs to fundraise online for up to $2 million per year in investment capital. It also exempts these small businesses from registering the securities with the state.
Senator Scott Brown (R) from Massachusetts introduced the bill to help ease Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rules related to small businesses. The 'crowdfunding' legislation would allow entrepreneurs to solicit investments directly from individuals online without having to register with the SEC.
While Brown and others think this will be helpful to small businesses, the National American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) believes a balance needs to be made between benefits for small businesses and protection for investors. NASAA believes the legislation in its current form would not prevent fraud and would put investors in risk for unrecoverable damages. They believe issuers should register with a state before seeking online investors. Read more about NASAA's testimony before the Senate Banking Committee.
For more information about H.R. 2930 and crowdfunding, read the bill overview.
National Futures Association (NFA) has once again sponsored the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago's Money Smart Week initiative, scheduled for April 21-28, 2012. The week long program is a national effort dedicated to financial literacy and education. Events and workshops will focus on topics such as; Going Green to Save, Kids and Money, Teens and Money, Money Management for Women, Investment Fraud, Taxes as well as Unemployment and Jobs.
The partnership between the Federal Reserve Bank and the American Library Association (ALA) saw a valuable first year in 2010. According to the Federal Reserve, ALA hosted 131 classes and brought in 1,523 Money Smart Week attendees. This year, the partnership aims to bring Money Smart Week @ your library, which will bring library activities and events to more than 30 states.
For more information about NFA's participation in Money Smart Week, look out for the upcoming April edition of NFA's Investor Newsletter.
National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) is right around the corner and National Futures Association is proud to participate on the Steering Committee again amongst federal agencies and non-profits including the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Reserve System, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and AARP.
This year's NCPW theme is "Your Information Destination: www.ncpw.gov." Steering Committee members and other state and local organizations are gearing up to provide a wealth of information to consumers related to privacy protection, money management and safe internet browsing, how to avoid investment fraud and how to better understand mortgages.
NFA will be participating in the upcoming Traders Expo organized by MoneyShow at the Marriott Marquis in New York City. The three day conference, scheduled February 19-22, will take a look at different trading strategies and current market environments for stock, forex and futures trading. Sessions include; "Pattern Recognition Swing Trading Stocks, Forex and Futures," "Trade Better: Short Term Strategies That Lead to Success," and "The Strategies of Successful Prop Firm Traders."
NFA is sponsoring a booth where representatives will be distributing educational materials and answering questions. If you are interested in learning more about the Expo, please visit the Expo's website.
In the fourth quarter of 2011, NFA's Business Conduct Committee issued Decisions, Member Responsibility Actions, Final Orders in Registration Cases and Complaints against the following NFA Member firms and individuals. Click on the name for more detailed information.
You can check the registration status and disciplinary history of any futures firm or individual.
You can file a complaint online. Be sure to include as much information as you can.
Subscribe to receive NFA communications such as Notices to Members, press releases and Web updates via email.