Established in 2003 by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the FINRA Investor Education Foundation empowers underserved Americans with the knowledge, skills and tools to make sound financial decisions throughout life.The Foundation accomplishes this mission through educational programs and research that help consumers achieve their financial goals and that protect them in a complex and dynamic world.FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, regulates all securities firms doing business in the United States. FINRA is dedicated to investor protection and market integrity.
I'm tired. I'm tired of studies. I'm tired of special reports. I'm tired of awards. I'm tired of prizes. I'm tired of endowments. I'm tired of foundations. I'm tired of initiatives. I'm tired of pilot projects. I'm tired of mission statements. I'm tired of committees and subcommittees. I'm tired of panels and advisory boards. I'm tired of blue-ribbon experts preparing white papers. I'm tired of updates about proposals and listening tours. Which leads me to the object of my jeremiad today: the "FINRA Investor Education Foundation". . .
March 10, 2021New Research: Repeated Exposure to Fraud Awareness Education Reduces Susceptibility to Investment ScamsWhile the economic fallout caused by COVID-19 has led to a significant rise in tips, complaints and referrals involving investment scams, new research from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation (FINRA Foundation) and the Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR) provides evidence that repeated exposure to concise, online educational interventions can reduce susceptibility to investment fraud among U.S. adults.March 4, 2021First-of its-Kind Study Identifies Drivers of Chronic Fraud VictimizationAARP, the FINRA Investor Education Foundation (FINRA Foundation) and Heart+Mind Strategies today released Addressing the Challenge of Chronic Fraud Victimization, a study that identifies evidence-based ways to help repeat victims of financial fraud and their families. The study, published in recognition of National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW), used a behavior model to help illuminate factors that may contribute to repeat or chronic victimization by financial fraud schemes.March 1, 2021FINRA Foundation Seeks Applicants for Military Spouse FellowshipStarting today, the FINRA Investor Education Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship is accepting applications for its 2021 class of financial FINRA Fellows - a unique program designed to increase the financial capability of U.S. service members and their families.February 16, 2021New Research: Four in 10 American Households Had Difficulty Withstanding a Financial Crisis Before COVID-19Well before the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly four in 10 households lacked financial resilience, making them vulnerable to financial hardships, including those associated with the current pandemic or future financial crises, according to a report from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation. Meanwhile, fewer than two in 10 households appeared to be financially resilient.February 2, 2021New Research: Global Pandemic Brings Surge of New and Experienced Retail Investors Into the Stock MarketIn a year when a pandemic gripped the world, beginning and experienced retail investors flocked to the stock market using taxable, non-retirement investment accounts, according to new research by the FINRA Investor Education Foundation (FINRA Foundation) and NORC at the University of Chicago.
Oh for godsakes, really? Another dubious study promoted by the FINRA Investor Education Foundation. Now, please, don't get me wrong. I wholeheartedly endorse studies about gender, racial, and ethnic discrimination and harassment, and how such pernicious conduct manifests itself financially and economically. If you are familiar with my published body of work, you will find that I frequently champion victims of Wall Street discriminatory practices. That being said, just how much money did FINRA spend on this study and its promotion? What exactly was the unanticipated, surprising results of the study? Did FINRA and the authors expect that a survey of 515 Arkansas inmates would show that said population ranks among the top 1% of wealthy individuals? Did those investigating this group expect that the inmates were financially literate or would have impressive financial assets? Were the investigators anticipating that incarcerated women would have higher financial literacy and more financial assets than incarcerated men?Not to be too cynical or snarky here (but I'm going to be just that) but there are some postulates that don't require expensive studies to confirm. For example, I imagine that incarcerated men and women have, on average, fewer Frequent Flyer Miles than those who have never been incarcerated; and, similarly, that said inmate population has on a percentage basis fewer PhDs than in the non-inmate population. Frankly, if FINRA has money to throw around on such studies, I would have much preferred that the funds were earmarked for outright financial grants to the Arkansas female inmates rather than for studies about their dire financial straits.
FindingsParticipants on average correctly answered 8 of 12 items on the financial and healthcare decision-making measure (67 percent), and their average score on the loneliness scale was 2.2 (Range: 1 - 5). Older age, more depressive symptoms, more medical conditions, lower education, lower income, and fewer social contacts were associated with poorer decision making. Women tended to score lower on the decision-making measure than men.After accounting for age, sex, and education, lower cognition was associated with poorer financial and healthcare decision making. Loneliness was not associated with decision making among older adults, in general; however, loneliness was detrimental to decision making among those older adults with low cognition. To illustrate this finding, we examined the effect of loneliness on decision making for participants with average cognition (50th percentile) and low cognition (10th percentile). For participants with average cognition, a one-point increase on the loneliness scale only corresponded to a 0.02- point reduction in decision making. By contrast, for participants with low cognition, a one-point increase on the loneliness scale corresponded to a 0.35-point reduction in decision making (Figure 2).To ensure that these findings were not due to other potentially relevant factors, we conducted analyses that accounted for depressive symptoms, social network size, medical conditions, and income. We observed the same results after accounting for these other factors, which increases confidence that our findings are not due to factors that are conceptually similar to loneliness or might otherwise shape decision making.
Older age, more depressive symptoms, more medical conditions, lower education, lower income, and fewer social contacts were associated with poorer decision making. Women tended to score lower on the decision-making measure than men.
To ensure that these findings were not due to other potentially relevant factors, we conducted analyses that accounted for depressive symptoms, social network size, medical conditions, and income. We observed the same results after accounting for these other factors, which increases confidence that our findings are not due to factors that are conceptually similar to loneliness or might otherwise shape decision making.