April 15, 2024

The Securities and Exchange Commission is calling on Filipinos to become investor champions by securing their future through smart and sustainable investments, as it leads the celebration of the 2021 Investor Protection Week.

SEC celebrated the Investor Protection Week from Nov. 8 to 12 with webinars and other activities aimed at raising the level of financial literacy among Filipinos and thereby empowering them to invest for and to scam-proof their future.

The SEC highlighted the variety of legitimate and accessible investment options, where Filipinos can place their hard-earned money, such as stocks, bonds, government securities, and mutual funds.

“Being an investor champion means being able to realize the benefits of investing, to spot and avoid fraudulent investment schemes, and to champion others by passing on your knowledge about legitimate investment options and the modus operandi of scammers to keep them from falling into the trap,” SEC Chairperson Emilio B. Aquino said.

The 2020 Stock Market Investor Profile released by the Philippine Stock Exchange, Inc. shows there were only around 1.4 million accounts in the stock market last year.

These account for only two percent of the Philippines’ adult population and point to a widely untapped potential for the equities market.

The 2019 Financial Inclusion Survey by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas also revealed lack of awareness, alongside work instability and perception of high cost as among the top reasons why Filipino adults did not have investments.

A number of Filipinos fall prey to unauthorized investment schemes that offer low investment costs; fast, high, and guaranteed returns; and fake celebrity testimonials and endorsements, based on reports and inquiries received by the SEC.

“The SEC believes that Filipinos recognize the importance of investing in securing a better future for themselves and their families, especially after seeing the impact of unprecedented economic setbacks brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, for instance,” Aquino said.

“Unfortunately, fraudsters have taken advantage of Filipinos’ eagerness to invest and earn more by luring them into schemes that require only small amounts of investments in exchange for returns that are too good to be true. It is therefore crucial that the investing public is guided toward the legitimate investment options and away from investment scams.”

The SEC first celebrated the Investor Protection Week last year, following President Rodrigo Duterte’s issuance on Nov. 15, 2019 of Proclamation 846 declaring the second week of November every year as Investor Protection Week.

The Investor Protection Week took off the World Investor Week, a global campaign promoted by the International Organization of Securities Commissions. It also coincided with the anniversary of the SEC. – Press release