Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton underscored the importance of choosing the right financial professional today, as the agency takes the lead in kicking off 2019 World Investor Week, a global consumer education effort now in its third year.

“If you’re thinking about working with an investment professional, make sure you ask my favorite question, ‘How much of my money will go to work for me?’ The answer may help you decide which investment professional is right for you,” said Clayton in a statement announcing that SEC staff will participate in more than 50 events around the country Oct. 1-8 designed to encourage individuals to start early to save and invest for their futures.

The SEC is leading U.S. efforts for 2019 World Investor Week, which is promoted globally by the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) and features the educational programs from regulators on six continents.

“Don’t be shy when it comes to asking questions about the fees and expenses that come with your investments.  After all, it is your money!” the SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy (OIEA) said in a new joint Investor Bulletin issued with the CFTC, FINRA, and the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) today.

The SEC’s continued focus on advisor fees and background checks should be a marketing goldmine for advisors with a strong value proposition and ethical history.

The joint investor bulletin highlights a video series ( the agency produced, featuring SEC Chairman Clayton explaining the differences between brokers and investment advisors, including how they are paid for their services and the Clayton’s top tips for Main Street investors.

The bulletin notes that investors should consider which products and services the professional offers, how those can help you best achieve your goals, and how and how much you will pay. Different types of investment professionals offer a range of products and investment services—from providing low-cost platforms for do-it-yourself investors to comprehensive portfolio management and everything in between.  

“Making sure you’re dealing with a registered investment professional by doing a background check on is a great first step toward protecting your investments,” said Lori Schock, director of the SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy.

“Unlicensed, unregistered persons commit much of the investment fraud in the United States and Canada, so this is an important first step if you are considering an investment professional,” according to the SEC investor bulletin.

The bulletin also directs investors to thoroughly check out an investment professional before hiring him or her, noting that people can contact their state or provincial securities regulator to make sure an investment product and the person selling it are properly licensed or registered and to learn more about your investment professional’s background.

The SEC is also stressing the importance of starting early and diversifying your investments during the week’s events.

"Understanding saving and investing basics such as starting early, understanding basic financial concepts, doing your research and asking questions is a proven formula to make smart investment decisions,” Clayton said.

SEC staff events during World Investor Week Oct 1-7 can be found at and include: 

• A national teachers conference

• Saving and investing presentations and webinars for seniors, students, women’s organizations and military service members

• A roundtable discussion about elder investor fraud

• A Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) program for federal employees covering new TSP withdrawal options

• A Twitter chat about the importance of a diversified investment portfolio.