FINRA Webinar Will Teach New Investors How To Avoid Pitfalls - Forbes

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, better known as FINRA, will be hosting a free hour-long … [+] virtual event “Funding Your Future: Tips for Smarter Investing” at noon on Thursday, April 7.
During the COVID-19 lockdown many people started investing in stocks and cryptocurrencies for the first time. Online trading app Robinhood claimed it opened three million new accounts on its platform at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, and half those investors were first-timers. It opened an additional 9.5 million last year. Not surprisingly, many of them lost money due to fraud or their own ignorance.
“Scammers are cashing in on the buzz around cryptocurrency and luring people into bogus investment opportunities in record numbers,” said the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in a report. In February, the FTC said consumers reported more than $5.8 billion lost to fraud in 2021, a 70% increase over the previous year.
So, if you’ve ever wondered if that new cryptocurrency or non-fungible token (NFT) about the hit the market is a scam, or if that hot MEME stock being promoted on an Internet message board is legit, then you should attend a live webinar this week that will discuss how new investors can avoid many common investing pitfalls.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, better known as FINRA, will be hosting a free hour-long virtual event “Funding Your Future: Tips for Smarter Investing” at noon on Thursday, April 7. FINRA, a not-for-profit organization that regulates brokerage firms and helps protect investors, does not have a stake in selling any type of product. It said this event is focused on working professionals juggling issues from paying down college debt to saving for a child’s education and their own retirement.
“There’s been a lot of changes in the world of investing, from the pandemic and market volatility that we’ve seen over the past couple of years,” said Gerri Walsh, the head of FINRA’s office of investor education. “The face of investing has changed. We have new and younger investors with lower incomes investing with small dollar amounts. They are more likely than previously to be women and from communities of color. We want to reach out to those new investors and share the tips and tools that FINRA has in a fun easy format.
U.S. Congressman Jake Auchincloss of Massachusetts and Diane Young-Spitzer, acting director and general counsel of the Massachusetts Securities Division, will join FINRA executives, including Chief Executive Officer Robert Cook to share the tips and tools needed to invest with confidence. They will also take questions from participants.
They will discuss how to choose the best investments to meet your financial goals, from stocks and bonds to cryptocurrencies and NFTs. They will tell you how to determine if you want to work with an investment professional, what to ask before you hire them, and what to do if you have problems with them.
The subjects to be covered include where to get unbiased information, how to evaluate risk, what is fractional investing, using zero commission trades, how to approach digital assets, things to know about penny-stocks, how to spot fraud, what to do if you’re a victim of fraud, whether to work with an investment professional and how to find out if a financial advisor has done something shady.
In 2020, FINRA mediated almost 4,000 arbitration cases where investors claimed a advisor either misrepresented what an investment was or sold them an unsuitable investment through fraud, an omission of facts, unauthorized trading, manipulation, or breach of contract.
That same year, state securities officials worked on more than 8,000 investigations. The investigations resulted in enforcement actions, $42 million in fines and penalties, and $306 million in restitution ordered returned to investors, according to a report from the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA).


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