SEC, Department of Defense Announce Investors Town Meeting in Norfolk, Va.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
2002-83

Hampton Roads area residents invited to free seminars on personal financial readiness

Washington, D.C., June 4, 2002 -- The Securities and Exchange Commission will conduct a free educational program on Wednesday, June 12, in Norfolk, Va. to help Hampton Roads area residents, including military families, learn how to save and invest wisely in the wake of recent events that have shaken investor confidence. The Investors Town Meeting is co-sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness.

Because millions of Americans lack the basic information they need to save and invest wisely, the SEC has conducted more than 40 town meetings nationwide since 1995, including one in Norfolk last year. This will be the first town meeting that the SEC has conducted jointly with the U.S armed forces.

The Norfolk town meeting will take place at the Sheraton Norfolk Waterside, 777 Waterside Drive. Speakers will include SEC Investor Education Director Susan F. Wyderko and Capt. George E. Slaven, Deputy Commander of the Navy Region Mid-Atlantic, both of whom will answer audience questions following their remarks.

"With nearly half of American households investing in the stock market through mutual funds and retirement plans, knowing how to manage your money has never been more important. It's critical that we help people learn how to balance their financial goals with their tolerance for risk," Wyderko said, adding that the town meeting and seminar program will address all areas of personal financial readiness.

The Department of Defense views personal finances as key to the quality of life and mission readiness, noting that young people often join the military lacking financial skills and develop poor management habits. The Department is committed to providing them basic skills, and sees this town meeting as an unbiased forum for service members and their families to learn more about money management and successfully investing for their future.

"We train our sailors from the earliest stages of their careers on smart financial planning," said Slaven. "If sailors get into debt, it not only affects the quality of their lives, but it also may impact their ability to focus on our mission of defending the nation's interests."

In addition to the town meeting, the free program will also feature one-hour seminars on successful investing, mutual funds, selecting stocks, understanding futures and options, retirement savings, financial planning and debt management.

Town Meeting Schedule of Events

4:30 - 5:30 p.m.Educational Exhibits
5:30 - 6:15 p.m.Town Meeting featuring Wyderko and Slaven
6:15 - 6:45 p.m.Complimentary Refreshments & Educational Exhibits
6:45 - 7:45 p.m.Investing Seminars
8:00 - 9:00 p.m.Investing Seminars

Admission is free but reservations are recommended because seating is limited. To make reservations to attend, call toll-free (877) 404-3222 or send an e-mail to rsvp@sec.gov. Auxiliary aids, such as a sign language interpreter, should be requested at the time of reservation.

For more information, contact: John J. Nester, SEC, (202) 942-0032.

Last modified: 6/4/2002