A key part of the mandate of the Trinidad and Tobago Securities and Exchange Commission is the protection of investors and the creation of a fair and proper environment which can favour investments. It is against this backdrop that the Commission embarked on an investor education programme: a programme geared toward present and potential investors.
As global markets become more complex and at times equally volatile, the Commission has realised that investors must have access to more reliable information in order to guide their investment decisions. The Commission’s Investor Education programme focuses on developing a more literate financial consumer who can make informed and suitable personal investment decisions, while avoiding the pitfalls and dangers that can arise in the form of unregistered financial products as well as various scams and fraudulent investment schemes.
In its Investor Education programme, the Commission focuses on providing information on the role and function of the TTSEC, the rights and responsibilities of investors, a guide to making wise investment decisions and much more. This initiative aims to demystify financial concepts and is designed to equip ordinary investors with the tools they need to understand and evaluate the risks and benefits of various financial products and to recognize, avoid and report illegal investment schemes.
We, at the Commission, firmly believe that investors and potential investors hold the key to and even more importantly, bear the responsibility for their own financial futures. Our vision is for a better informed, educated and more confident citizenry, able to accept greater responsibility for their investment and financial affairs, with the ability to play a more active role in the market for financial services.
Our Investor Education Outreach programmes are conducted by staff of the Commission (officers from the Communications Unit; Market Regulation and Surveillance Division and the Policy Research and Planning Division comprise the IE Team) and take place throughout Trinidad and Tobago. The focus of the programmes will be on investors’ rights and responsibilities through discussions and presentations on:
- The importance of saving and investing;
- Understanding investment vehicles;
- How to manage investment risk;
- How to avoid investment fraud; and
- How to make investment decisions given a range of criteria.
Our target audiences include:
Young adults (16-25), who are pursuing or have completed higher education or training and are in the process of starting their first real job or aiming to do so. As they move into adulthood, they will take on more responsibility for their own personal finances. Moreover, the Commission believes that this group is normally one of the most difficult groups to target because of the fact that appealing and novel ways must be adopted to attract them and keep them interested. Since the youth of today will be the adults of tomorrow, we must educate and empower them to take action and be responsible for their future actions. Therefore, by educating our youth and young adults from an early age, it is expected that they can become investor literate and make wise financial decisions when the opportunity presents itself.
Adults in the workplace.
Recruitment, promotion, relocation, parental leave, flexible working hours, redundancy and retirement all have an impact on one’s finances and ought to be the trigger for a review of one’s financial arrangements. The workplace is therefore a natural channel for reaching people with specific investor education needs
Persons preparing for Retirement.
Retirement is one of those activities that should be carefully planned for, but attention to this is often postponed. More complex financial solutions and a greater emphasis on people taking personal responsibility for their finances make retirees a priority target group.
In 2012, the Commission has conducted sessions with 8 arms of the Judiciary of Trinidad and Tobago (Supreme Courts and Magistracy) and the formations of the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force (TT Regiment, TT Air Guard and TT Coast Guard).
The Commission will be expanding these sessions to include entities in the private sector, public sector, professional groups and tertiary level institutions. If you are interested in having an outreach session for your entity or for a special group to which you belong, feel free to contact the Commission’s Communications Division at 624-2991 ext.1275 or 1259.