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Dollars and Sense

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Dollars and Sense is an investor education series featuring experts in the field of finance and investor protection.

Links/Resources associated with Dollars & Sense Investing

From the Georgia Secretary of State

Georgia Secretary of State Securities Division

Resources for Senior Investors

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) provides important information for senior investors including explanations of different products, asset allocation and risk. You can also get information on affinity fraud, “senior specialists” and investment advisers and what to look for to identify and steer clear of potential frauds. http://www.sec.gov/investor/seniors.shtml

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) also provides important information for senior investors. Its website has such items as Broker Check, that gives you the ability to look up the history of your investment professional to see if they have prior complaints or problems.

FINRA’s website also has tools and resources to protect senior investors and help them make informed investment decisions, including “Investor Alerts” that provide timely information on steering clear of investment scams and problems instead of just dealing with their aftermath. Subjects of recent alerts include: “Look Before You Leave: Don’t Be Misled by Early Retirement Investment Pitches That Promise Too Much;” Annuities and Senior Citizens: Senior Citizens should be Aware of Deceptive Sales Practices when Purchasing Annuities;” and “Seniors Beware: What you should know About Life Settlements.” Visit FINRA.Org

The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) also has helpful info. Resources include: a quick checklist of questions to ask before you invest, 10 tips to protect your nest egg and guidance on where to turn for help.

Regulators have warned that seniors may be confused by designations that imply some expertise in helping seniors. Information regarding professional designations is available through NASAA’s Investor Alert is at www.nasaa.org, the SEC’s information on professional designations, and NASD’s professional designation database.

Investors can contact the SEC’s Atlanta Regional Office at 404-842-7676 (Investor Assistance Line) or by fax at 404-842-5752 or mail:

Securities and Exchange Commission Attn: Investor Assistance 3475 Lenox Road, N.E., Suite 500 Atlanta, GA 30326

Complaints should be in writing or on an SEC complaint form. If you are unable to access our website, we will be happy to mail you a form.

The AARP Foundation and the Investor Protection Trust (IPT) have teamed up to create The Campaign for Wise and Safe Investing.TM

This national educational and awareness campaign strives to protect Americans against investment fraud which can erode retirement assets. www.aarp.org is the main url for the organization. You can click on the Money and Work link on the banner at the top of the page.

Watch a series of videos about investment fraud »