ASD Shares Financial Planning Tips
LITTLE ROCK—Sunday, August 14 is National Financial Awareness Day, and the Arkansas Securities Department (ASD) would like to remind Arkansans how important financial planning is to help them build stronger financial futures.
“I would encourage all Arkansans to develop a thorough financial plan that can serve as a roadmap for achieving their personal financial goals and dreams, interim Commissioner Campbell McLaurin said. “A strong financial plan creates personal financial stability and contributes to the overall strength and health of the Arkansas economy. Our department stands ready to provide resources and answer any questions from Arkansans interested in embarking on their own financial planning journey.”
In recognition of National Financial Awareness Day, the ASD has put together the following important tips for financial planning for Arkansas investors:
- Create a budget. Whether you are just beginning your journey, or you have a growing family, adhering to a budget can be key for reaching your financial goals. While creating your budget, decide how and why you spend money and then prioritize that spending. There are budget tracking apps available to make it easier.
- Automatic savings. One thing that is vital for saving for your future is making a financial plan. The most simple and effective way is to set up automatic savings. You can do this either through a 401(k), or at a bank or credit union. As time passes, these automatic deposits add up. For example, $50 a month accumulates to $600 a year and $3,000 after five years, plus interest that has compounded. Soon, you will have the money available to cover those unexpected expenses that seem to always come at the worst time. Having a savings set up for that will keep you from having to use your credit card or take out a high-interest loan.
- Establish a trusted contact. A vital step any investor can take is to provide a “trusted contact” to the financial firm. A trusted contact is an authorized person your financial firm can contact in limited circumstances, such as if you are unreachable, and there is a concern about activity on your account. A trusted contact could be a family member, accountant, attorney or any other third party, whom you trust to respect your privacy. One or more trusted contacts provides one more layer of security to your account, and it puts your financial firm in a better place to keep your account safe. More information about establishing a trusted contact can be found here.
- Always ask questions when making investments. Scammers are becoming sophisticated with frauds and schemes, and investors must always be on guard to protect their assets. If someone contacts you about an investment that sounds too good to be true, it most likely is too good to be true. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or walk away if something doesn’t sound right to you. Always research financial brokers, advisers and firms. You can always contact our office or check them out on brokercheck.finra.org.
If you have any questions, please contact the Arkansas Securities Department at (501) 324-9260 or (800) 981-4429 (toll free) or by email at ASDInfo@arkansas.gov. The Department’s website at securities.arkansas.gov contains a variety of resources and information designed to educate the public on issues of financial planning and economic literacy.
The ASD cautions citizen investors of all ages and experiences to thoroughly scrutinize and research any investment opportunity or offer. Contact the ASD at 1-800-981-4429 to check out any person or financial professional offering an investment opportunity or investment advice for a fee and the products they offer for proper registration. Contact the ASD to report suspected fraud, inappropriate securities business practices, or to obtain consumer information. The ASD provides free investor education and fraud prevention materials in print and through educational presentations upon request.