The week-long initiative, which began Monday, Oct. 4 and ran through Sunday, Oct. 10, was organized by the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO). According to the organization, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which serves as the week’s “national coordinator,” partnered with the National Futures Association, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and the North American Securities Administrators Association to promote the event.
“Investor protection is at the core of the SEC’s mission, and we are proud to serve as the national coordinator in the U.S. for World Investor Week,” SEC Chair Gary Gensler said. “We especially hope to reach younger investors, first-time investors, and investors in underserved communities. As markets and technology evolve, more investors than ever are able to access our capital markets. I encourage investors at every stage to take advantage of resources available at Investor.gov and ongoing outreach events in communities across the country.”
Gensler made a kick-off video highlighting the importance of the week and has been producing new “Office Hours with Chair Gensler” videos that include topics like cryptocurrency, digital engagement, climate risk disclosure and the risks associated with Chinese off-shore shell entities.
One of the week’s events, which was titled “Fraud Has No Borders,” focused specifically on the international reach of criminal conduct and addressed scams and fraudulent activities stemming from the digitization of global investing.
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“Knowledge is power, and the best way to protect yourself is to learn investing basics, understand the risks involved with every investment opportunity, and create a long-term plan that best meets your financial goals,” said Lori Schock, director of the SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy.
The week’s activities symbolically began in New Zealand, where the first financial activities of any given day take place, and featured everything from published materials, to online webinars, in-person and virtual conferences and other events, according to information from IOSCO.
“Financial education is key to supporting investor protection locally and worldwide. The 2021 WIW underscores IOSCO’s firm commitment to financial educational initiatives which enable retail investors to have the confidence to participate in financial markets on a properly informed basis. This is particularly important during these challenging times,” added Ashley Alder, chair of the IOSCO Board and the Chief Executive Officer of the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission.
Martin Moloney, secretary general of IOSCO, echoed the sentiments of Alder and specifically pointed to the importance of shielding retail investors from fraud and abuse.
“Retail investor protection cuts across many of the issues covered by IOSCO work streams. It is a cornerstone of all IOSCO’s work that our Committee on Retail Investors work continuously to promote the enhancement of financial education and retail investor protection,” Moloney said.