May is National Investor Education Month

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May is National Investor Education Month

Theme: Invest with Confidence!
 
A lack of financial preparedness has huge societal costs. Financial Literacy and Investor Education are key life skills for improving individuals’ ability to better manage their money.
 
In Trinidad and Tobago (T&T), we have recognised that there are portions of the population who are unbanked and who are unaware of all the financial and investment options available.
 
The Trinidad and Tobago Securities and Exchange Commission (TTSEC), as the regulator for the securities industry in T&T, is responsible for not only supervising and regulating the various market actors and intermediaries, but also partnering with other regulators and entities to ultimately grow and protect, the market and investors. A core mandate of the TTSEC is also to educate members of the public about its investment options and their rights and responsibilities within the securities industry.
 
This year the TTSEC will be celebrating its third National Investor Education Month which focuses on the theme ‘Invest with Confidence’. This theme is important as it highlights the following core functions of the securities regulator in ensuring confidence and trust in the industry.
  • Securities Regulation – Regulating the securities industry so you can INVEST WITH CONFIDENCE
  • Investor Education – Knowing your rights and responsibilities as an investor so you can INVEST WITH CONFIDENCE
  • Collaboration with all stakeholdersWorking together so you can INVEST WITH CONFIDENCE

Regulation of the industry

The Commission operates within these five primary functions:
  1. Registers all market actors and the securities offered in T&T
  2. Ensures orderly, fair and equitable trading in the securities market
  3. Conducts inspections, reviews and examinations of market participants
  4. Conducts enforcement of the legislation which governs the functioning of the industry rules. This is carried out through the use of orders, guidelines and by-laws, as well as, by establishing and monitoring standards in the market, which include codes of conduct, prudential criteria and corporate governance.
  5. Ensures investor protection and instils investor confidence. The Commission conducts an investor education programme aimed at providing suitable knowledge to investors to help them make informed investment decisions.
 Regulating the securities industry so you can INVEST WITH CONFIDENCE.
 

 Investor Education

Investors and potential investors have a right to make informed investment decisions. Through the TTSEC’s Investor Education programme (InvestucateTT) we are able to inform and educate the public about the securities industry and also empower investors to make wise investment decisions –in order to facilitate greater participation in the securities market.
The TTSEC’s InvestucateTT Programme includes: investor education outreach sessions, exhibits and an array of information on investing on the investor education website – investucateTT.com; the TTSEC’s YouTube channel and via Facebook and LinkedIn. The TTSEC’s mobile application also facilitates learning and understanding of investing in stocks, bonds and mutual funds.
Knowing your rights and responsibilities as an investor so you can INVEST WITH CONFIDENCE.
 
Collaboration
The TTSEC also works with many stakeholders to ensure that the securities industry is secure and operates fairly and transparently. Some of these stakeholders relate to both regulation and investor education and include: All market actors (registrants, individuals, companies and organisations); the Central Bank of T&T, the T&T Stock Exchange Limited; Financial Intelligence Unit; Mutual Fund Association of T&T; the Securities Dealers Association of T&T; other governmental and non-governmental organisations and entities.
Working together so you can INVEST WITH CONFIDENCE.
 

National Investor Education Month

What is it?
National Investor Education Month provides the opportunity to raise awareness about the need for citizens to think smarter about money; understand all the local saving and investment options and to know their rights and responsibilities as investors.
We have a responsibility to alert citizens to the realities that exist within the securities industry and to facilitate a deeper understanding about this industry. Everyone is responsible for his/her financial welfare and must be able to recognise the inherent risks that exist with any saving or investment option.
Critical to understanding investing, is grasping the concept of saving. Saving to invest is a major part of initiating an investment plan and it starts by getting informed and educated about financial best practices.
 
What are we doing?
The TTSEC is working on maintaining a fair and transparent, regulatory framework that protects investors and creates an environment where investors can invest with confidence. Protecting investors also involves educating the public about the securities industry. Financial literacy and investor education need to permeate all communities, regardless of demographics or socioeconomic standing.
As such, in addition to its current investor education programme, which includes FREE interactive outreach presentations, the TTSEC developed and will soon be introducing a supplemental Teacher’s Manual and Student Workbook to aid secondary school teachers in disseminating information to students about: money management and investing, our financial sector, and our securities industry.
 
Get Involved!
The next step is for each individual to take action. Purposefully work each day towards educating yourself on how to:
  • Save to invest,
  • Diversify your portfolio, and
  • Gain and sustain your financial freedom.
Start in small ways by getting educated about the securities industry: visit our Investor education website www.investucatett.com; ‘Like’ our Facebook page, and request a free investor education outreach session (ccei@ttsec.org.tt). The key is to start now!
With this month’s focus on Investor Education, it’s a good time to take advantage of the outreach initiatives such as our FREE exhibit on May 19 at C3 Centre from noon – 6:30pm.
Wise saving and investing starts with you. Ensure you educate yourself about saving and investing options and always consult a registered financial advisor or investment adviser before making any financial decisions. Visit www.ttsec.org.tt to see if your investment adviser is registered with the TTSEC.
The Trinidad and Tobago Securities and Exchange Commission is not an investment adviser nor is it a brokerage house. This article is intended solely to provide you with the information you need to help you make sound investment decisions and to ensure that you are familiar with and understand your rights and responsibilities as a consumer of financial services.