SEC Urges Public to be Smart Investors, Celebrates IOSCO World Investors Week

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By Shiela Bertillo

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is encouraging the public to become smart investors to secure their financial future, as it joins the celebration of International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) World Investor Week from October 4 to 10.

The World Investor Week is a global campaign by the IOSCO that encourages securities regulators around the world to put a spotlight on efforts to promote investor protection and financial literacy.

The theme this year focuses on sustainable finance and the prevention of frauds and scams.

“The SEC is pleased to take part in this year’s World Investor Week, taking cues from the IOSCO’s mission to boost financial literacy in order to promote sustainable economic growth and prevent the spread of scam and fraud among the investing public,” SEC Chairperson Emilio Aquino said in a media release yesterday, October 6.

He added that the SEC recognizes the importance and will “continue to strive for a scam-free financial environment”, reiterating that it will only be possible if the commission and the public will work together in exposing and avoiding fraudulent schemes.

As of October 5, the SEC has released 87 advisories against groups and individuals who have been soliciting investments from the public without the necessary license from the Commission. In 2020 and 2019, the commission issued a total of 126 and 50 advisories, respectively.

Recent advisory was published last Tuesday, September 28, warning the public against dealing with Pogi Breeds International, a group of individuals that plays play-to-earn game Axie Infinity through soliciting investments from the public without license from the regulator. (Read more on: SEC Warns the Public Against Investing in Axie Operators “Pogi Breeds International”)

Moreover, the Commission has also issued four cease-and-desist orders against 15 groups and individuals for their unauthorized investment-taking activities for the last 2 years.

Currently, SEC has 48 cases pending in court for violations of Republic Act 8799, or The Securities Regulation Code (SRC). While, a total of 187 individuals have been charged with violations of the SRC, with the SEC securing 17 judgments of convictions against 19 individuals meted with a total of imprisonment of 572 years and a total fine of PHP25 million imposed by various courts.  

“The SEC is encouraging the public to heed the IOSCO’s guidelines in becoming an investor, so that they may protect their hard-earned money and avoid fraudulent entities.” the commission wrote in the statement.

According to IOSCO definition, “a smart investor is one who researches investment opportunities independently, avoids “get rich quick” schemes, and never discloses personal information on an unexpected call or other communication.”

IOSCO also noted that a smart investor must be able to practice his due diligence by verifying the investment professional he is transacting with is duly licensed and  is able to understand the risks that exist in all investments, and able to plan for investments based on their future needs and goals.

“A smart investor realizes the value of sustainable finance, whether it be environmental, social, and governance investing, socially responsible investing, or impact investing.” it added.

The Commission, in partnership with the Philippine Stock Exchange, formally opened the celebration of World Investor Week in the Philippines through a bell-ringing ceremony  yesterday, October 6.

On October 8, the SEC will host a free webinar on how to spot and unmask investment scams, which will be livestreamed on the Facebook page of the Commission and the SEC Campaign Network Partners.

The commission will continue to host different events throughout the month of October, as it prepares for the celebration of Investor Protection Week from November 8 to 12.

This article is published on BitPinas: SEC Urges Public to be Smart Investors, Celebrates IOSCO World Investors Week

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