SEC teaches financial literacy to service members

| March 8, 2018 | 0 Comments

Thomas D. Manganello, Senior Counsel, Office of Investor Education & Advocacy United States Securities & Exchange Commission out of Washington, DC, speaks to service members on the importance of financial management and savings March 2, 2018 at the Aloha Center on Fort Shafter. The class was coordinated between the SEC and U.S. Army Pacific staff, and was part of Military Saves Week. Military Saves Week is an annual opportunity for installations and organizations to promote good savings behavior and a chance for service members and their families to assess their own saving status.

Staff Sgt. Justin Silvers
U.S. Army-Pacific Public Affairs

FORT SHAFTER — Perhaps money can’t buy happiness, but understanding how to manage money can make life easier.

That’s why the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Office of the Securities Commissioner, held a class, here, at the Aloha Center, March 2.
The guest speakers were Thomas D. Manganello, senior counsel for the SEC’s Office of Investor Education & Advocacy in Washington, D.C.; Peter Kane of the SEC office in Los Angeles; and Theresa Kong Kee of the DCCA in Honolulu.

The class was coordinated for service members by the SEC and U.S. Army-Pacific as part of Military Saves Week.

“Military Saves Week is a week during the year when the DOD, and other federal agencies that care about financial literacy, talk at the base and installation level to people that are active duty about various facets of financial readiness,” said Manganello.

Peter Kane, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission representative from the Los Angeles, California office, speaks to military service members on the difference of saving versus investing during a finance class, Mar. 2, 2018 at the Aloha Center on Fort Shafter. The class was coordinated between the SEC and U.S. Army Pacific staff, and was part of Military Saves Week. Military Saves Week is an annual opportunity for installations and organizations to promote good savings behavior and a chance for service members and their families to assess their own saving status. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Justin Silvers)

“This covers everything from smart use of credit and debt, to being an informed investor, to knowing a little bit about common products, such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds and how to spot and avoid fraud.”

Manganello said there was one theme he hoped service members would remember and relay to their units.

A variety of information pamphlets and paperwork was provided during a finance class, Mar. 2, 2018 at the Aloha Center on Fort Shafter. The class was coordinated between the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and U.S. Army Pacific, and were held for service members as part of Military Saves Week. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Justin Silvers)

“Our main message … is to begin a lifetime of saving and investing; if they haven’t done that yet, and one of the best ways military folks can do that is through the Thrift Savings Plan,” said Manganello. “(Thrift savings) is a low-cost way to automatically invest throughout your career, and let the power of compound interest work for you, and to achieve some diversification.”Staff Sgt. Mitchel Grant, a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear noncommissioned officer with the 311th Signal Command (Theater), said the debt portions of the class were the most beneficial for him.

“The thing I took away the most is, when you start a savings plan, you need to kill off your debt first,” he said. “People don’t think like that because cards are so easy to use.”

Spc. Myo Mon, a canon crew member with the 2nd Battalion, 11th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, found the information on fraud to be the most helpful.

“I have a buddy who invested in something that was a pyramid scheme, and he lost thousands of dollars in a few days, so this is something people should know,” he said.

For more information on financial literacy and for free tools and resources , visit the SEC website at investor.gov.

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