Spitzer Announces Beginning Of Securities Industry's $500,000 Newspaper Campaign Cautioning Investors

"Before you invest, investigate." That is the theme of an eight-week ad campaign to encourage individuals to invest wisely, which begins Sunday, September 17.

Once every two weeks over a two-month period, a different full-page ad will run in two national newspapers, beginning with the Sunday, September 17 edition of The New York Times and the Tuesday, September 19 edition of USA Today. The Securities Industry Association developed in cooperation with the New York Attorney General's Office campaign to promote investor education. SIA funded the $500,000 in costs.

"Despite the revolution in new technology and new ways to trade," said Spitzer, New York state's attorney general. "the best advice is still the oldest - do research, don't trade beyond your means, and, for most people, long-term investing makes the most sense."

"SIA's member-firms are committed to providing customers with the tools and information they need to become responsible investors," said SIA President Marc Lackritz. "We welcome the support of the Spitzer, the attorney general of New York state, in this educational effort. This campaign broadens our industry's efforts to help investors understand the risks and opportunities involved in making financial decisions."

All four ads share a magnifying glass motif, but each focuses on a different point.

  • Investment advice online. The ad urges investors to do their homework before investing rather than taking advice from someone in an online chat room. "If the only investment advice you're getting is from some guy in his pajamas at two o'clock in the morning, you need to worry." The ad directs readers to a brochure on online investing posted on SIA's Web site. (www.sia.com).

  • Margin accounts. Using an image of a rose to convey the point that there are risks (the thorns) with the benefits (the flower), this ad stresses that investors should analyze whether borrowing funds from a broker to buy stocks makes sense as part of their financial plan. If the stocks go up, the ad says, your return will be larger. But, you can also lose more money than you have invested. Further, your stocks may be sold without notice to pay off the loan. An SIA brochure on margin accounts is also available on SIA's Web site.

  • Stock price information. This ad explains that when you send a "market order" online for execution, the price that you saw when you clicked the "submit" button may have changed sharply in the few seconds it takes to execute your order electronically. Investors are encouraged to learn more about investing online by reading SIA's brochure.

  • Limit orders. "Limit orders can help investors avoid expensive slips," the ad says. After investors have done the research and selected stocks to buy, if they send in a "market order," the prices for the stocks they want may have skyrocketed in the short time between when they ordered the stock online and when that order was fulfilled. To protect themselves against buying stocks at prices far higher than what they wanted, the ad encourages investors to use limit orders that specify the highest price the investor is willing to pay.

Lackritz said that SIA has a series of investor education publications on line (On-line Investing Tips,http://www.sifma.org/research/reports.aspx ;Buying Stocks On Margin, The Basics; http://www.sifma.org/research/reports.aspx). Investors can also write to SIA for a free copy of the brochures () if they provide a self-addressed stamped envelope with their request. Send requests to: Investor Education Publications; 120 Broadway; 35th Floor; New York, NY 10271-0080.

The Securities Industry Association brings together the shared interests of more than 740 securities firms to accomplish common goals. SIA member-firms (including investment banks, broker-dealers, and mutual fund companies) are active in all U.S. and foreign markets and in all phases of corporate and public finance. The U.S. securities industry manages the accounts of approximately 50-million investors directly and tens of millions of investors indirectly through corporate, thrift, and pension plans. The industry generates in excess of $300 billion of revenues yearly in the U.S. economy and employs approximately 700,000 individuals. (More information about the SIA is available on its home page: http://www.sifma.org/research/reports.aspx.)

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