Clinic Provides Education to Future Elder Law Advocates

rstroudOn April 23, 2014 clinic graduate research assistant Dylan Donley and fall 2013 intern D. Russell Stroud presented “There’s No Such Thing as a Free Lunch: Getting to Know the Red Flags of Fraud and Common Scams Against Seniors” to law students in Professor Mary Radford’s Law and the Elderly course at Georgia State University’s College of Law.

Stroud started the discussion by describing the profile of an investment fraud victim.  He asked the audience for reasons why the elderly may be particularly vulnerable.  Students noted that the elderly may be targeted because they have money to invest, may be trusting and open to new ideas and friendships, and may be unwilling to report fraud due to embarrassment or fear of losing their independence.

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Millennials and their Finances: The Struggle is Very Real

By Dylan Donley, Spring 2014 Graduate Research Assistant

financial struggleSince April is Financial Literacy Month, we are bringing you a number of blog posts that focus on none other than financial literacy. Today’s post will discuss a FINRA Investor Education Foundation study about the financial literacy and capability of millennials in contrast to other generations.

In March 2014, the FINRA Investor Education Foundation released a new study, The Financial Capability of Young Adults – A Generational View. In this study, FINRA came to some fairly startling conclusions about millennials and their basic financial literacy and capability (startling to me personally being a millennial). Overall, the study indicated that “millennials display low levels of financial literacy, engage in problematic financial behaviors and express concerns about their debt.” While some of these findings may not come as a complete surprise given the economic recession this country has experienced, the main issue for many millennials now in trying to cope with the effects of the Great Recession is dealing with and overcoming their lack of financial knowledge.

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Clinic Interns Present Investor Education to GSU ROTC Cadets


On Tuesday April 22, 2014, Investor Advocacy Clinic student interns Thomas Abrahamson, Timothy Guilmette and Nataliya Nemtseva presented “Take Charge of Your Financial Future” to a group of Georgia State University ROTC cadets.  The early morning session began with Lt. Col. William J. Brooks, PhD, describing the risk of fraud that members of the military face, the importance of the topic and introducing the interns.

ROTCAfter Colonel Brooks turned the presentation over to the clinic interns, Timothy Guilmette recounted his own twelve year military career and discussed the importance of financial readiness.  Nataliya Nemtseva provided an overview of the FINRA Investor Education Foundation 2012 National Capability Study’s findings concerning military members and financial preparedness.  According to Nemtseva’s review of the study, nearly 50% of military members break even or spend more than they earn, 50% do not invest outside of military retirement and 43% do not have emergency funds. Thomas Abrahamson then discussed the importance of budgeting and taught the cadets where to start.  Guilmette provided an overview of a Leave and Earning Statement (LES) to help cadets begin budgeting and provide them with the skills to counsel the soldiers they will soon lead.  The interns also provided practical tips for managing and getting out of debt and setting up an emergency fund.  The formal session concluded with a discussion of the importance of planning and investing now.  Cadets asked several questions concerning budgeting, saving and investing.

Acoint the conclusion of the presentation, clinic interns provided the cadets with additional educational materials to learn more about this important topic, including’s excellent publication Money & Mobility: For Military Personnel and Families.

Colonel Brooks thanked the clinic interns by presenting them with the unit’s coin.

The Investor Advocacy Clinic thanks Colonel Brooks and the Georgia State University ROTC for the opportunity to meet with these future leaders.  We look forward to continuing to collaborate in the future.


How Financially Literate Are You? Take this FINRA Quiz to Find Out!

By Dylan Donley, Spring 2014 Graduate Research Assistant

In honor of Financial Literacy Month, we are challenging our readers to test their financial knowledge by taking FINRA’s Financial Literacy Quiz. Did you know that only 14% of Americans are able to correctly answer all five financial literacy questions posed by FINRA? More surprisingly, only 24% of millennials are able to answer four or five questions correctly on FINRA’s Financial Literacy Quiz. Of those millennials, only 18% of people aged 18 to 26 were able to answer four or five questions correctly.

Post your results and tell us how you stack up against the national average!

Clinic Students to Present Investor Education During Financial Literacy Month

April is financial literacy month, and the Investor Advocacy Clinic’s student interns are making sure that potential investors have the information they need to make wise financial decisions.

On Tuesday, April 22, interns Thomas Abrahamson, Timothy Guilmette and Nataliya Nemtseva will meet with cadets in Georgia State University’s ROTC.  Their presentation, “Take Charge of Your Financial Future,” will discuss financial readiness, budgeting, saving and planning for the future and is tailored for members of the military.

On Wednesday, April 23, graduate research assistant Dylan Donley and fall 2013 student intern D. Russell Stroud will present “There’s no Such Thing as a Free Lunch: Getting to Know the Red Flags of Fraud and Common Scams Against Seniors” to a group of law students studying elder law.  This presentation will educate future lawyers interested in working with seniors, providing them with information and tools to protect seniors from scams.

On Tuesday, April 29, student interns Scott Evans, Benjamin Stubbs and Patricia Uceda will present “Guidance for Your Investment Journey” at the Georgia State University College of Law to current law students in Room 330 at noon.  This presentation will help new investors learn how to protect themselves from becoming victims to investment fraud and make wise decisions as they save for their future.

Each of these presentations is made possible by a grant from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation.

Interested in an investor education presentation for your organization?  Call us at (404) 413.9270 and we would be happy to discuss how the clinic can create a presentation tailored to your audience.

The State of Blue Sky Laws

By Thomas Abrahamson, Spring 2014 Student Intern

blue skySecurities regulation in the United States has several levels. First, regulations take place on a federal level through Congress and administrative agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Then after these federal regulations you have state legislatures and commissions. It is these state level regulations that are referred to as “blue sky” laws.

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Friday’s Fraud – Ponzi Schemes: Don’t Believe the Unbelievable

By Benjamin Stubbs, Spring 2014 Student Intern

chasingThis week’s tip: be more like Alice than the Queen. In Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass, when the Queen asked Alice to consider that the Queen was over a hundred years old, Alice tells the Queen that there was no use trying to consider that because “one can’t believe impossible things.” The Queen responded that she had “sometimes … believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

Coming in third on NASAA’s list of most common investment frauds of 2013 are high-yield investments and Ponzi schemes, which are often used to defraud investors because they are chasing high returns and are tricked by promises of “unbelievably high rates of returns.” The simplest way to avoid such scams: don’t believe unbelievable things, no matter how much money someone promises you.

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