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The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy

Feb. 16, 2011

The Office of Investor Education and Advocacy (OIEA) seeks to provide individual investors with the information they need to make sound investment decisions.  OIEA administers two primary programs to promote this mission: assisting individual investors with complaints and inquiries about the securities markets and market participants; and conducting educational outreach to individual investors.  OIEA also helps to inform Commission policy by advising the Commission and Commission staff on various issues from the perspective of the individual investor, including with respect to rulemakings, Investor Advisory Committee recommendations, and through IOSCO’s Committee on Retail Investors.

Each year, OIEA has contact with millions of individuals through its investor assistance and education programs.  OIEA assists investors who contact the SEC with questions or to complain about the mishandling of their investments by investment professionals and others.  Through its investor education program, OIEA produces and distributes educational materials, leads educational seminars and investor-oriented events, and partners with federal agencies, state regulators, and self-regulatory organizations on financial literacy initiatives.  OIEA plays an important role in the Commission’s key initiatives aimed at protecting investors, including helping senior citizens and military families guard against securities fraud.  

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