Speech by SEC Commissioner:
Statement Regarding the Launch of the National Strategy for Financial Literacy
Commissioner Cynthia A. Glassman
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
Financial Literacy and Education Commission
April 4, 2006
Good morning. I am pleased to be here today on behalf of the Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC believes wholeheartedly in the mission of the Financial Literacy and Education Commission ("FLEC") to enhance public awareness of the financial literacy resources available through the federal government and private organizations.
Investor education is critical to the SEC's investor protection mission. For example, with half of American households now owning mutual funds, the SEC is working hard to make sure that consumers get all the mutual fund information they need, in a form they can actually use. And with more than 75 million Americans turning 60 over the next 20 years one every nine seconds! we have no time to waste. We have initiated several new investor education efforts, including a webpage on the SEC's website focusing on helping seniors avoid fraud. The SEC also publishes information targeted at other vulnerable and under-served audiences, such as military families and teachers.
The SEC has long been dedicated to investor education programs, believing firmly that the best defense and offense against costly mistakes is an educated investor. An educated investor is one who understands the importance of diversification, the trade-off between risk and return, and how to evaluate an investment opportunity. An educated investor understands that if something sounds too good to be true, it likely is. Effective investor education can help all Americans become better positioned to achieve personal financial security and reach their saving and investing goals, including home ownership and college education for their children.
As a member of the National Strategy Working Group, the SEC has appreciated the opportunity to work with other federal regulators to increase awareness of the importance of financial education. But the federal government can't do it all. That's why it is important for us to work in partnership with other agencies, localities and private sector entities that sponsor high quality financial education.
The SEC supports FLEC's mission 100%, and we will continue to work with all relevant parties to promote the financial literacy and education of U.S. investors.