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Are you financially literate? Wondering about the difference between a 401(k) and an IRA? Want to know how to save for an emergency? What’s this cryptocurrency about? How can you avoid investment or charity scams?

The Georgia Secretary of State’s Securities Division has published a free online handbook, “Investor and Financial Literacy Guide: Strategies for Investing Wisely and Avoiding Financial Fraud.” You can read or download a free copy:

The guide covers valuable basic concepts like the time value of money (explain this one to your kids and teenagers), family budgeting, the Rule of 72, how to make your investment grow, and reasons why people don’t invest their money.

FUBU CEO Daymond John and author Kyren Gibson explain the time value of money

It also explains different types of assets you can invest in: cash, equities or stock, fixed income, real estate, mutual funds, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

You can learn about managing individual investments yourself versus using one or more index funds. An index fund is a group of stocks that are grouped together by some common feature. For example, you might invest in a technology fund instead of trying to decide between Apple and Tesla stock. The idea is to spread the risk of losing money across more than one company—not putting all your eggs in one basket.

“She Leads” program on women and money

Another resource from Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office is the “She Leads” program, a financial literacy and small business program specifically for women. She Leads offers monthly webinars, mentoring, networking, and other resources for women to build wealth.

“Justice League” for Georgians targets scammers

On Tuesday, the Securities and Charities Division presented a seminar on detecting investment and donor fraud at the Georgia Bureau of Investigations’s Georgia Crime Information Center (GCIC) Training Symposium in Savannah. The Securities and Charities Division works with state and local law enforcement to shut down scammers.

Division Director Noula Zaharis said in a press release, “This is a wonderful example of interagency cooperation where law enforcement comes together to reinforce that together we are the “’Justice League’ for Georgians. We appreciated this opportunity to strengthen the relationships between our division and other law enforcement agencies.”

The Secretary of State Securities and Charities Division enforces state law regulating securities firms, investment professionals, and investment products, as well as charities’ fundraising activities. It also enforces the state law regulating the fundraising activities of charities and promotes financial literacy and fraud deterrence.

To report an investment scam to the Secretary of State’s Securities Office, visit https://sos.ga.gov/page/investor-alerts-and-outreach.

Learn how to avoid charity scams if you’re a donor—and ways to protect your charity from internal or external fraud

Robin Kemp

Robin Kemp is executive editor and CEO of The Clayton Crescent, which she founded in 2020. She has worked for Gambit, CNN, The Weather Channel, Clayton News, Henry Herald, and numerous freelance outlets....

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