The first and foremost purpose of the presentation was to alert the public that this office exists and to let you know what services they perform to assist the residents of New Jersey to make wise and safe investments. In their literature, they say, “This is the government agency that regulates the sale of securities to and from the state and regulates those selling securities. The Bureau encourages investors to be cautious when investing since securities fraud takes new victims every day and the scams change as often as the headlines on the front page of the news.”
One of the fliers in the binder gives an overview of the Bureau and what information is available in their website at www.njsecurities.gov. There are some very useful investor education booklets that are free to print or download; a few examples of this information will be included in the binder for in-library use. These materials can help the consumer make safe and wise investments by revealing common methods employed by successful investors. These are some of the available titles: Five Keys to Investing Success, The Basics for Investing in Stocks, A Primer for Investing in Bonds, Mutual Finds: Maybe All You’ll Ever Need, Where to Invest Your College Money and Maximize Your Retirement Investments. They also have a booklet titled Getting Help With Your Investments that provides all the information you need to find and work with reputable brokers and financial advisers and a booklet that the speaker left for the public, The Essential Guide to Safe Investing.
Also on their website is an interactive online game appropriate for adults and kids called “Avoiding Investor Scams.” See how well you do at trying not to be ripped off by shady advisers by playing this entertaining and educational game.
The Bureau also provides free background information about those selling you securities. You can contact the Bureau at their toll-free number 1-866-I-Invest (1-866-446-8378) or email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. They caution consumers from getting pressured into investing or even giving out personal information about you and your current investments by agreeing to attend a Free Lunch Seminar. “According to AARP studies, over 6 million seniors over the age of 55 have attended Free Lunch Seminars over the past three years. And according to a study by the Investor Protection Trust, about 7.3 million Americans over the age of 65 have been victim to financial fraud – that breaks down to one out of five being victimized.” They remind you that investment scams come in many varieties and if something looks too good to be true, it probably is!
There is one final tip sheet (also included in the binder) that the Bureau has provided called “The Top Ten Investment Traps” that lists investments that you should probably avoid to insure that you don’t get scammed. Stop at the Information Desk next time you are at the library and review the useful information in the Binder labeled Investment Information. It could keep you from losing your savings by making poor choices or dealing with unscrupulous brokers.