Regulators kicked off World Investor Week on Monday with efforts to promote investor education and financial literacy, including an investor bulletin from the Mutual Fund Dealers Association that aims to demystify mutual fund fees.
The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) announced the launch of its second annual campaign to promote investor education and investor protection around the world. During the course of the week, regulators, stock exchange, and consumer groups, will be showcasing their efforts at bolstering financial literacy and education.
Specifically, regulators highlighting the risks posed by financial innovations, such as crypto assets, initial coin offerings (ICOs), and other online investments.
“ICOs, cryptocurrencies and other digital assets are emerging investment products. However, they are extremely risky and can be fertile ground for fraud,” says Erin King, senior education and website officer at New Brunswick’s Financial and Consumer Services Commission (FCNB), in a statement. “We aim to provide investors with information about how to recognize a legitimate opportunity, and with the tools to make an informed decision about purchasing.”
Wold Investor Week coincides with the regulators’ recognition of October as Investor Education Month. “Being an informed investor means doing research and understanding how a particular investment works, what the risks are, and understanding there is no such thing as a risk-free investment,” adds King. “In some cases, people may feel pressured into making an investment to get rich quick. The bottom line is, if you do not understand how an investment works, do not invest.”
Individual jurisdictions across Canada have activities throughout the month as part of both World Investor Week and Investor Education Month, the Canadian Securities Administrators says in a news release.
Also Monday, the federal Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) announced it is partnering with the Seven Generations Education Institute (SGEI) and the Martin Family Initiative (MFI) to develop a financial literacy pilot project, designed to improve personal finance capabilities in Canada’s indigenous communities.
The program, which is slated to launch in early 2019, will include “approximately 20 hours of in-class programming on topics such as budgeting, banking, credit and debt management and will be delivered by SGEI’s instructors.”
Following the completion of the pilot program, the groups say that they intend to offer it to other Indigenous communities and educational organizations.
“The purpose of the partnership between FCAC, SGEI and the MFI is to ensure that Indigenous Peoples have a better financial background enabling them to be more fully involved in the Canadian economy,” says Paul Martin, former prime minister and founder of MFI.
MFDA releases Investor Bulletin on Mutual Fund Fees
Separately, the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (MFDA) published an investor bulletin on mutual fund fees for World Investor Week and Investor Education Month.
The bulletin aims to help demystify the industry’s various fee structures.
“The MFDA is pleased to participate with IOSCO members in World Investor Week and to be part of the global campaign to raise awareness regarding the importance of investor education and protection,” says Mark Gordon, MFDA president and CEO, in a statement.
“Providing tools and resources that promote informed decision making by investors is a key goal of the MFDA under its strategic plan. The Investor Bulletin on Mutual Fund Fees is one of these resources as it provides investors with information they can use to assess the impact of fees on their mutual fund investments, and includes actionable resources such as questions investors can ask their advisor regarding fees.”