LITTLE ROCK – Sunday, August 14 is National Financial Awareness Day, and the Arkansas Securities Department (ASD) wants to remind Arkansans how important financial planning is to help them build a stronger financial future.
“I would encourage all Arkansans to develop a comprehensive financial plan that can serve as a road map to achieving their personal financial goals and dreams,” said Interim Commissioner Campbell McLaurin. “A strong financial plan creates personal financial stability and contributes to the overall strength and health of the Arkansas economy. Our department is ready to provide resources and answer any questions Arkansans interested in embarking on your own financial planning journey.”
In recognition of National Financial Awareness Day, the ASD has put together the following important financial planning tips for Arkansas investors:
Create a budget. Whether you’re just starting out on your journey or have a growing family, sticking to a budget can be key to reaching your financial goals. As you create your budget, decide how and why you spend money, and then prioritize that spending. There are budget tracking apps available to make this easier.
Automatic saving One thing that is vital to saving for your future is making a financial plan. The easiest and most effective way is to set up automatic saving. You can do this through a 401(k) or at a bank or credit union. As time goes by, these automatic deposits add up. For example, $50 a month adds up to $600 a year and $3,000 after five years, plus interest that has been compounded. Soon, you’ll have the money available to cover those unexpected expenses that always seem to come at the worst possible time. Having a savings set up for this will prevent 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 finance company. A trusted contact is an authorized person that your financial company can contact in limited circumstances, such as if you can’t be found and there is a concern about activity on your account. A trusted contact could be a family member, an accountant, a lawyer or any other third party, whom you trust to respect your privacy. One or more trusted contacts provides an extra layer of security to your account and puts your financial company in a better position to keep your account safe. More information on how to establish a trusted contact can be found here.
Always ask questions when making investments. Fraudsters are becoming sophisticated with fraud 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 probably is too good to be true. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or walk away if something doesn’t feel right. Always research financial brokers, advisors and companies. You can always contact our office or consult them brokercheck.finra.org.
If you have any questions, please contact the Arkansas Department of Securities at (501) 324-9260 or (800) 981-4429 (toll-free) or by email at ASDInfo@arkansas.gov. Department website a securities.arkansas.gov contains a variety of resources and information designed to educate the public on financial planning and financial literacy issues.