Pennsylvania Securities Commission Asks Teachers to Make Investor Education a New Year's Resolution

Jan 06, 2010, 15:08 ET from Pennsylvania Securities Commission

HARRISBURG, Pa., Jan. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- As students head back to school in 2010, the Pennsylvania Securities Commission (PSC) asks educators to make investor education a top priority.

An estimated $16.5 billion was lost by average investors in 2009 due to investment scams and more than 150 Ponzi schemes collapsed.

"There is no time like the present to focus on teaching Pennsylvania's young people to be informed investors," said PSC Chairman Bob Lam. "Cases of investment fraud and abuse such as the Madoff scandal are best prevented with informed investors."

A recent survey conducted on behalf of the PSC indicates that teachers in Pennsylvania want to teach more about saving and investing but they need help in doing so. Only half of the teachers surveyed know, for example, that the PSC regulates investment advisers in the Commonwealth and only one in ten know the characteristics of a Ponzi scheme, a common form of investment fraud.

"Our survey found significant inconsistencies in what teachers know about saving and investing and how they teach it," said PSC Commissioner Steve Irwin. "We want all teachers to feel confident in their understanding of saving and investing matters and we're taking measures to help them do just that."

The PSC offers educational resources and guest speakers for schools that cover a range of topics from the basics of saving and investing to more complex topics. "We need to be sure that Pennsylvania's young people know the value of compound interest and the importance of saving and investing, but they also need to understand that some deals are just too good to be true," said PSC Commissioner Tom Michlovic.

Teachers can schedule a classroom presentation or request materials for use in their classroom by calling the PSC at 717-787-8061 or toll free at 1-800-600-0007. Additional investor education materials are available on the PSC website at

For more information, visit or call 1-800-600-0007.

SOURCE Pennsylvania Securities Commission