The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy is issuing this Investor Bulletin to help educate investors about municipal bonds. For additional assistance, investors can call the SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy at 1-800-SEC-0330, or ask a question using this online form.
Investing for retirement can be complex. When deciding where to invest, you may need to make a variety of decisions, including how to balance the risk of losing money with the desire to increase your returns, keeping in mind that inflation may reduce the purchasing power of your savings and you or your spouse or partner may live longer in retirement than you expect. Recognizing this, a number of companies offer “target date retirement funds,” sometimes referred to as “target date funds” or “lifecycle funds.”
SEC staff are aware of a number of ongoing investment scams in which con artists have used the names of real SEC employees to trick victims, including non-U.S. investors, into giving the fraudsters access to their brokerage accounts, revealing private information, and even sending the perpetrators money and other assets. Impersonation of U.S. Government agencies and employees (as well as of legitimate financial services entities) is one of several characteristic features of advance fee fraud solicitations and other fraudulent schemes. Even where the fraudsters do not request that funds be sent directly to them, they may use the personal information they obtain to steal the individual’s identity and then misappropriate his or her financial assets.
The staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has received credible information suggesting that an individual named Eric Bartoli, who was previously sued by the SEC for securities fraud, may currently be located in Peru and engaged in securities solicitations of investors, using the alias Enrico Orlandini.
The SEC is warning investors about a website that falsely claims that $1.3 billion in Madoff money has been found in Malaysia and encourages individuals to submit information to verify that they are on a refund list. The website was created as a fake mirror image of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation’s (SIPC) website.
The SEC staff and FINRA are issuing this Alert because we believe individual investors may be confused about the performance objectives of leveraged and inverse exchange-traded funds (ETFs).