By Amy Miller, AFC®
The FINRA Foundation has recently announced the opening of the new FINRA and FINRA Foundation Free Publication Portal.
FINRA Investor Education Foundation
FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, established the FINRA Investor Education Foundation in 2003 with the mission of empowering Americans with knowledge and tools to make better financial decisions through educational programs and research.
They have recently announced the opening of the new FINRA and FINRA Foundation Free Publication Portal. The Portal can be assessed by the following link: FINRA.ORG and has a plethora of information and resources available to both consumers and financial industry representatives.
Consumer resources available include DVD documentaries, informational brochures, kits, and quizzes designed to inform, educate, and alert individuals to current financial trends and scams. The site also offers some basic investment tips.
FINRA.org/military is dedicated to providing financial information and tools to the military consumer. There you will find tools and resources designed to help service members, veterans, and their families manage money and become financially healthy. Topics include activating your GI Bill Benefits, shopping for a mortgage, and getting tax help in addition to personal financial basics like setting goals and managing debt.
For Financial Educators
FINRAFoundation.org offers military financial educators, counselors, and FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellows (like me 😊) resources that can be used to help them assist their clients to improve upon their financial health. In addition to the free publications available via the portal, the site features links to the many tools also offered by the FINRA Foundation’s Military Financial Readiness Project, which I have outlined below:
*Free Publications – informational brochures can be ordered or downloaded by professionals to use in their counseling and coaching sessions. Topics covered include making smart decisions after a job loss, military moving guides, and avoiding fraud and scams, just to name a few. DVDs and quiz booklets are also available for order. And as a bonus – The FINRA Foundation covers the cost of all materials and shipping charges!
*Credit Score and Analysis Tool – free FICO credit scores and educational information can
be found here and is free of charge to active-duty service members and their spouses.
*Research – FINRA conducts research to better understand the financial needs and capabilities of our military, veterans, and their families. These studies can be found on the site and used to help financial educators and counselors better serve their clients and communities.
Since this is July and Military Consumer Month, I must also talk about the Foundation’s resources for combatting fraud. Brochures and informational flyers are available and were created to help individuals make more informed financial decisions and protect themselves against scammers and thieves. Topics covered include how to protect yourself and fight fraud, setting up a power of attorney, how to file investor complaints, and securities help for seniors.
Remembering what we learned last week, we know our military members and veterans are 76% more likely to be victims of scams and identity theft. We also know that fraud attacks on military members grew 69% in 2021 according to the FTC, making the need for these educational tools even more of a necessity for financial professionals assisting our military.
Again, the resources included on the site can be downloaded as PDFs or ordered free of charge. You can access them here: FINRA Publication Portal