Chicago Office Chats With Sailors About Investing
There’s an old saying: “if your ship doesn’t come in, swim out to meet it.”
In that same spirit of seizing opportunity, members of the Chicago Regional Office staff took time out of the daily grind and went to the Navy’s largest training installation on Feb. 27, 2020, to talk directly with military personnel about financial management and investing.
As the Navy’s only boot camp, Naval Station Great Lakes in suburban Chicago is the temporary home to thousands of new recruits who pass through annually. Many have just turned 18. Besides the challenge of being on their own financially and otherwise for the very first time, they’re learning how to defend a nation from sea to stars.
“With all they have to do in their regular jobs, they don’t really have time to look things up on the internet themselves to learn about investing and other financial matters,” explained Anne McKinley, an Assistant Director for Enforcement in the Chicago office. “It helps when we can get to them with helpful information before any fraudsters do.”
Enforcement Senior Counsel Jamie Davidson (center) talks with some attendees during the Chicago Regional Office’s military outreach presentation at Naval Station Great Lakes, the Navy’s largest training installation.
Will Davis (right), an Assistant Director in the Chicago office and a military veteran himself, presents information as part of a military outreach initiative to proactively fight against potential scams by unscrupulous fraudsters.
The presentation at Naval Station Great Lakes was the Chicago office’s inaugural event in its budding military outreach program that stems in part from an agency-wide initiative that SEC Chairman Jay Clayton announced last year.
Investor Assistance Specialist Pauline Zelkin received enthusiastic feedback afterwards from a young sailor who told her that he had been unsure how to start saving and investing. He was encouraged and less intimidated by what he just heard.
“He basically said he’s starting small and wants to do it right. He wants to use our resources to help himself learn more,” Zelkin said. “It’s comments like these that make our effort worthwhile and reinforce the importance of outreach.”
Lynn Steffen, who assisted with the presentation, noted the rewarding experience worked both ways. “The sailors were taking notes and snapping pictures of our slide presentation. They were eager to put what we were saying to good use. They also had great questions that will help us learn how to tailor our future presentations to the needs of our audience. We can’t wait to do this again!”