The SEC game show was supposed to be a prime source of infotainment but so far it has only outraged social media. On June 1, the SEC Office of Investor Education and Advocacy presented a campaign for “investor education” that will provide people with information on financial services using game-show scenarios.
“As technology evolves, we’re seeing a growing number of investors enter our financial markets,” said SEC Chair Gary Gensler. “With the growing access to markets, it’s as important as ever for investors to take time to educate themselves. I encourage investors to go to Investor.gov for accurate and unbiased investment information.”
The SEC game show was conceived with an aim to help people make informed financial decisions and avoid fraud. The campaign titled “Investomania” urges people to do their due diligence before trusting anyone with their hard-earned money.
The campaign features a 30-second TV spot, 15-second informational videos on crypto assets, margin calls, and guaranteed returns, and interactive quizzes, to educate viewers of all ages.
Two contestants and a host feature in the SEC funny game show. The host first asks the contestants to choose from six options on a game board. The board lists various options including stocks on margin, guaranteed returns, celebrity endorsements, FOMO, tulip bulbs, crypto to moon, stock tips from your uncle, meme stocks, and timing the market. After they select an option and invest, the video shows the consequences of their decision.
In case of a loss, the SEC urges people to do thorough research before making any investment-related decision.
Lori Schock, Director of the SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy reiterated the idea saying, “Investors are inundated with a lot of so-called ‘investment advice,’ and we encourage investors to outsmart the chatter by doing their own research and going to Investor.gov for information on how to avoid fraud and invest for their future.”
Other than the SEC game show, the agency has also released 15 second videos on crypto, easy money, and margins, which exhort the audience to do their own research and not to be swayed by celebrity endorsements or investor assurances.
In a written statement, the SEC revealed that “more than 40 million users have accessed Investor.gov since it launched in October 2009, and thousands of investors are testing their investing knowledge by taking a new quiz published each month on Investor.gov/quiz.”
An Outraged Social Media
The public service campaign has managed to incur the wrath of netizens who claim that the SEC mocks the very people it claims “to educate.” Outraged social media users gave vent to their emotions on Twitter, calling out the SEC for ridiculing people.
Former SEC branch chief Lisa Braganca took to Twitter to voice her displeasure with how Investomania has turned out. Her post stated, “Very disappointing to see SEC disparage investors in meme stocks as if they must have done it thoughtlessly – esp when @SECGOv permits most trading to take place in dark pools. How about a video about dark pools @GaryGensler? Or better yet, get trading into the open.” Meanwhile, other users joined the rallying cry thanking her for highlighting the issue with the videos. The thread soon picked up momentum with people of all ages applauding her courage for slamming the SEC game show and mentioning that she should take the helm.
Outraged social media users did not take kindly to the SEC’s explanation that they wanted to educate people in a fun, comedic manner. Dave Lauer did not mince words while conveying his feelings about the video saying, “this video series is absolutely awful. The SEC insults the same investors it is intended to educate and protect.”
Netizens questioned the SEC’s priorities as the SEC game show appears to make a mockery of unaware citizens rather than ignite an interest in how to invest properly.
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