MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO --
Service members their families received a free financial education forum at McDougal Hall Feb. 26.
Educators from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Investor Education Foundation provided seminars about managing debt, saving for the future and building wealth.
The event was part of Military Saves Week, a program designed to motivate service members and their families to save money to meet immediate and long-term financial goals.
A key point the representatives shared was that anybody can save and now is the time to start. They stressed the importance of diversifying mutual funds, which are funds owned by a pool of investors who invest
in many different stocks and bonds to lower the risk of losing money.
They also discussed the Thrift Savings Plan, which is the investment account that most of the newer service members have. Atwww.tsp.gov, service members can manage their account, choosing from several
By default, the TSP account invests in the G fund, which is composed of government securities. Since their money goes to government funds, investors are guaranteed to receive interest for lending their money.
However, lower risk often means a lower return.
According to the statistical information provided on the Web site, the other funds have returned more money than the G fund over time; however, they always have the risk of losing money.
“We want service members to be in the driver’s seat when it comes to managing their money,” said Geraldine Walsh, vice president and deputy of the Office of Investor Education, FINRA. “We travel to military
installations to provide service members with unbiased investment strategies.”
FINRA was established in December 2003 as the regulatory organization that manages all financial firms that do business in the country, said Walsh. The organization serves as both the rule maker and an
educational advisor for investing and saving.
The FINRA representatives introduced their Web site,www.saveandinvest.org, a free investing information site.
The Web site provides investors with high-quality and easily accessible information to understand the market and basic investing and saving strategies.
The site also offers tips on getting started to planning short-and long-term financial goals.
The event attendees were given special codes to gain access to the Web site’s BrightScore tool, which calculates credit scores for free.
“I thought the seminar had a lot of good information and I’m grateful for the services provided,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Stephanie Petitt, who came from Naval Submarine Base, Point Loma, Calif. for the
seminars. “A lot of service members missed out for not showing up.”