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Division of Securities & Retail Franchising

Investor Education and Financial Literacy

Utilize the resources provided through these Investor Education and Financial Literacy links to help you become a better educated, well protected, and successful investor.

Investor Education Related Organizations

  • Alliance for Investor EducationExternal Link logo
    The Alliance for Investor Education is dedicated to facilitating greater understanding of investing, investments and the financial markets among current and prospective investors of all ages. The organization pursues initiatives for education and joins with others to motivate Americans to obtain objective information and increase their knowledge and understanding of investing.
  • American Savings Education CouncilExternal Link logo (ASEC)
    ASEC is a national coalition of public- and private-sector institutions committed to making saving and retirement planning a priority for all Americans. ASEC is a program of the Employee Benefit Research Institute Education and Research Fund (EBRI-ERF), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization (
  • Investing Online Resource CenterExternal Link logo (IORC)
    The Investing Online Resource Center is designed to serve as a valuable source for noncommercial information about investing online. This site was created solely for educational purposes and is maintained by the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA).
  • InvestopediaExternal Link logo
    Investopedia is a Forbes Media Company. The website is designed to provide investors with information to help them make wise investment decisions. Topics of interest include a dictionary, articles, tutorials, exam prep, a stock simulator, stock ideas and an “ask us” section for additional information.
  • Investor.govExternal Link logo
    Brought to you by The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy, is your online resource to help you invest wisely and avoid fraud.
  • Investor Protection TrustExternal Link logo (IPT)
    The primary mission of the Investor Protection Trust (IPT) is to provide independent, objective information needed by consumers to make informed investment decisions. Founded in 1993 as part of a multi-state settlement to resolve charges of misconduct, IPT serves as an independent source of non-commercial investor education materials. IPT operates programs under its own auspices and uses grant to underwrite important initiatives carried out by other organizations.

Types of Investment Groups

  • American Association of Individual InvestorsExternal Link logo (AAII)
    AAII is a nonprofit organization that arms individual investors with the education and tools they need to build wealth.
  • Better InvestingExternal Link logo (NAIC)
    Better Investing is the nation's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to investment education, with over 50 years of service. The organization serves as a provider of investing knowledge and practical investing experience delivered through local, regional and national educational events as well as stock-analysis tools, portfolio management tools, investing software, publications and a range of online resources.

Financial Industry Regulators

  • Commodities Futures Trading CommissionExternal Link logo (CFTC)
    Created by Congress, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is an independent agency with the mandate to regulate commodity futures and option markets in the United States. The CFTC's mission is to protect market users and the public from fraud, manipulation, and abusive practices related to the sale of commodity and financial futures and options, and to foster open, competitive, and financially sound futures and option markets.
  • Financial Industry Regulatory AuthorityExternal Link logo(FINRA)
    The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is the largest non-governmental regulator for all securities firms doing business in the United States. All told, FINRA oversees over 5,000 brokerage firms, about 172,000 branch offices and more than 676,000 registered securities representatives.

    Created in July 2007 through the consolidation of NASD and the member regulation, enforcement and arbitration functions of the New York Stock Exchange, FINRA is dedicated to investor protection and market integrity through effective and efficient regulation and complementary compliance and technology-based services.

    FINRA believes investor protection begins with education. Using the internet, the media and public forums, they help investors build their financial knowledge and provide them with essential tools to better understand the markets and basic principles of saving and investing. In addition, the FINRA Investor Education Foundation is the largest foundation in the United States dedicated to investor education.

  • NASDAQ Market InformationExternal Link logo
    NASDAQ is the largest U.S. electronic stock market. With approximately 3,200 companies, it lists more companies and, on average, trades more shares per day than any other U.S. market. It is home to companies that are leaders across all areas of business, including technology, retail, communications, financial services, transportation, media and biotechnology. NASDAQ is the primary market for trading NASDAQ-listed stocks.
  • New York Stock ExchangeExternal Link logo (NYSE)
    NYSE Euronext (NYSE/New York and Euronext/Paris: NYX) operates the world ' s largest and most liquid exchange group and offers the most diverse array of financial products and services. It is the most investor-friendly market in the world, dedicated to protecting the interests of all investors, large and small. Their website brings together investors and issuers, trades securities and fuels economic growth by providing educational materials, investor education, industry resources and outreach programs.
  • North American Securities Administrators AssociationExternal Link logo (NASAA) – Investor Education
    Organized in 1919, the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) is the oldest international organization devoted to investor protection. NASAA is a voluntary association whose membership consists of 67 state, provincial, and territorial securities administrators in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Canada, and Mexico.

    In the United States, NASAA is the voice of state securities agencies responsible for efficient capital formation and grass-roots investor protection. Their fundamental mission is protecting consumers who purchase securities or investment advice, and their jurisdiction extends to a wide variety of issuers and intermediaries who offer and sell securities to the public.
  • Securities and Exchange CommissionExternal Link logo (SEC) – Investor Education
    The mission of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is to protect investors, maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets, and facilitate capital formation. In an effort to adhere to this mission and provide protection via education, the SEC has the Office of Investor Education and Advocacy. This office within the SEC provides a variety of services to address the problems and questions investors may face such as investor education publications, calculators, quizzes, tips, complaints and links to other educational resources.
  • Social Security AdministrationExternal Link logo (SSA)
    The Social Security Administration's mission is to advance the economic security of the nation’s people through compassionate and vigilant leadership in shaping and managing America's Social Security programs.

Financial Education Information

  • Jump$tart Coalition – Investor EducationExternal Link logo
    Jump$tart is a national coalition of organizations dedicated to improving the financial literacy of kindergarten through college-age youth by providing advocacy, research, standards and educational resources. Jump$tart strives to prepare youth for life-long successful financial decision-making.
  • National Endowment for Financial EducationExternal Link logo (NEFE)
    The National Endowment for Financial Education® (NEFE®) is the only private, nonprofit, national foundation wholly dedicated to improving the financial well-being of all Americans. The mission of the National Endowment for Financial Education is to help individual Americans acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to take control of their financial destiny. NEFE’s mission is grounded in the belief, that regardless of background or income level, financially informed individuals are better able to take control of their circumstances, improve their quality of life, and ensure a stable future for themselves and their families.
  • U.S. Department of Treasury – Internal Revenue ServiceExternal Link logo
    (Tax Information for Retirement Plans Community)
    The IRS is a bureau of the Department of the Treasury. Their mission is to provide America's taxpayers top quality service by helping them understand and meet their tax responsibilities and by applying the tax law with integrity and fairness to all. To help taxpayers better understand the tax implications of their retirement plans the IRS offers a variety of information on their website via newsletters, published guidance, forms, products and publications.
  • U. S. Department of Treasury – Office of Financial EducationExternal Link logo
    The Department of the Treasury is a leader in promoting financial education. Treasury established the Office of Financial Education in May of 2002. The Office works to promote access to the financial education tools that can help all Americans make wiser choices in all areas of personal financial management, with a special emphasis on saving, credit management, home ownership and retirement planning. The Office also coordinates the efforts of the Financial Literacy and Education Commission, a group chaired by the Secretary of Treasury and composed of representatives from 20 federal departments, agencies and commissions, which works to improve financial literacy and education for people throughout the United States.
  • U.S. Financial Literacy and Education CommissionExternal Link logo is the U.S. government's website dedicated to teaching all Americans the basics about financial education. Whether you are planning to buy a home, balancing your checkbook, or investing in your 401k, the resources on can help you do it better. Throughout the site, you will find important information from 20 federal agencies government wide.
  • Virginia Council on Economic EducationExternal Link logo (VCEE)
    The Virginia Council on Economic Education (VCEE), founded in 1969, is an independent, nonprofit 501(c)3 educational organization. Their mission is to help students understand basic economic principles and develop the decision-making skills needed to be informed citizens, productive employees, and wise consumers. VCEE accomplishes this mission by establishing educational standards, providing teacher training, developing curriculum, disseminating materials and evaluating results.

Consumer Protection Organizations

  • American Association of Retired PersonsExternal Link logo (AARP)
    AARP offers engaging and helpful content on a variety of topics including personal finance, retirement and investing.
  • Better Business BureauExternal Link logo (BBB)
    The Better Business Bureau (BBB) maintains the vision of an ethical marketplace where buyers and sellers can trust each other. Their mission is to be a leader in advancing this marketplace trust. The organization exists as a resource for consumers and businesses alike to turn to for objective, unbiased information on businesses. BBB provides educational information and expert advice that is free of charge and easily accessible.
  • Consumer Federation of America External Link logo
    Since 1968, the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) has provided consumers a well-reasoned and articulate voice in decisions that affect their lives. Day in and out, CFA's professional staff gathers facts, analyzes issues, and disseminates information to the public, policymakers, and rest of the consumer movement.
  • Federal Trade Commission – Consumer ProtectionExternal Link logo (FTC)
    The FTC deals with issues that touch the economic life of every American. It is the only federal agency with both consumer protection and competition jurisdiction in broad sectors of the economy. The FTC pursues vigorous and effective law enforcement; advances consumers’ interests by sharing its expertise with federal and state legislatures and U.S. and international government agencies; develops policy and research tools through hearings, workshops, and conferences; and creates practical and plain-language educational programs for consumers and businesses in a global marketplace with constantly changing technologies.
  • National Fraud Information CenterExternal Link logo (NFIC)
    The NFIC was originally established in 1992 by the National Consumers League, the oldest nonprofit consumer organization in the United States, to fight the growing menace of telemarketing fraud by improving prevention and enforcement. Their mission is to give consumers the information they need to avoid becoming victims of telemarketing and Internet fraud and to help them get their complaints to law enforcement agencies quickly and easily.
  • Internet Crime Complaint CenterExternal Link logo
    The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), and the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). IC3's mission is to serve as a vehicle to receive, develop, and refer criminal complaints regarding the rapidly expanding arena of cyber crime. The IC3 gives the victims of cyber crime a convenient and easy-to-use reporting mechanism that alerts authorities of suspected criminal or civil violations.
  • Consumer Financial Protection BureauExternal Link logo
    The central mission of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is to make markets for consumer financial products and services work for Americans — whether they are applying for a mortgage, choosing among credit cards, or using any number of other consumer financial products.

Industry Support Organizations

  • American Franchisee AssociationExternal Link logo
    The American Franchisee Association (AFA) is a national trade association of franchisees and dealers. The AFA works to improve the industry of franchising while protecting its members’ economic investments in their businesses.
  • United States Department of LaborExternal Link logo
    The Department of Labor (DOL) fosters and promotes the welfare of the job seekers, wage earners, and retirees of the United States by improving their working conditions, advancing their opportunities for profitable employment, protecting their retirement and health care benefits, helping employers find workers, strengthening free collective bargaining, and tracking changes in employment, prices, and other national economic measurements.
  • Federal Reserve BoardExternal Link logo
    The Federal Reserve Board knows that well-educated consumers are the best consumer protection in the market. These consumers know their rights and responsibilities, and they use the information provided in disclosures to shop and compare. The Federal Reserve Board maintains a consumer information web site with educational materials related to the consumer protection regulations developed by the Board. In addition, the Federal Reserve staff uses consumer surveys and focus groups to learn more about what issues are important to consumers and to develop and test additional educational resources.
  • Investment Company Institute – Investor EducationExternal Link logo
    The Investment Company Institute is the national association of U.S. investment companies, including mutual funds, closed-end funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and unit investment trusts (UITs). The fund industry is committed to helping ensure that shareholders are fully informed when making decisions about their personal finances and their futures. The Institute supports this goal with its Investor Education series, public messages, partnerships, and through its participation in independent and government-sponsored investor education programs.
  • National Futures AssociationExternal Link logo(NFA)
    National Futures Association (NFA) is the industry wide, self-regulatory organization for the U.S. futures industry. This organization strives to develop rules, programs and services that safeguard market integrity, protect investors and help their Members meet their regulatory responsibilities.
  • Securities Industry and Financial Markets AssociationExternal Link logo (SIFMA) (formerly the Bond Market Association)
    The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) hosts and education website The site is a rich resource for people at every point on the investing spectrum. It offers valuable information, real time data, important indicators, as well as market news and commentary. Whether you are just beginning to think about investing in bonds or you are a seasoned investor, this site can answer your questions and provide you with the tools you need to invest in the bond market.
  • Securities Investor Protection CorporationExternal Link logo (SIPC)
    SIPC is an important part of the overall system of investor protection in the United States. While a number of federal, self-regulatory and state securities agencies deal with cases of investment fraud, SIPC's focus is both different and narrow: Restoring funds to investors with assets in the hands of bankrupt and otherwise financially troubled brokerage firms. The Securities Investor Protection Corporation was not chartered by Congress to combat fraud. In terms of its mission, when a brokerage firm is closed due to bankruptcy or other financial difficulties and customer assets are missing, SIPC steps in as quickly as possible and, within certain limits, works to return customers' cash, stock and other securities. Without SIPC, investors at financially troubled brokerage firms might lose their securities or money forever or wait for years while their assets are tied up in court.
  • Small Business AdministrationExternal Link logo (SBA)
    The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. The organization recognizes that small business is critical to our economic recovery and strength, to building America's future, and to helping the United States compete in today's global marketplace. Although SBA has grown and evolved through the years, the bottom line mission remains the same. The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses. Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, SBA delivers its services to people throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U. S. Virgin Islands and Guam.
  • Stock Search InternationalExternal Link logo – research old securities
    Stock Search International is recognized as a valuable resource when it comes to finding value in stocks and bonds no longer trading on current markets. The company provides thorough research service in this field, as they track down 97% of all the companies they investigate. For consumers’ convenience, Stock Search International has gathered the results of four decades of research in a new online Database of Companies No Longer Listed. This unique research tool features more than 40,000 updated reports including stock splits, stock dividends, name changes, mergers, acquisitions, liquidation distributions and contacts to initiate a recovery.
  • OldCompany.comExternal Link logo
    Old Company Stock Research Service provides customers with a brief profile of old companies whose original identities have been lost due to a change in name, merger, acquisition, dissolution, reorganization, bankruptcy or charter cancellation, and contact information for possible redeemable value. The resources used in determining research reports includes a large proprietary library of old company stock and bond research which includes information from the Marvyn Scudders Manuals, the Robert D. Fisher Manuals, and the Herzog & Co., Inc's obsolete research service reports.