In the mix of transitioning from the military, applying for benefits, seeking healthcare and job hunting – many Veterans become experts at navigating complex systems and staying abreast of the latest trends. Those that come through the gauntlet of compensation and pension exams, assembling a claim on eBenefits, or registering for Veterans healthcare develop a deep knowledge of the process and what it takes to succeed.

Do you possess the same expertise surrounding your financial portfolio?

Stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate investment trusts and variable annuities can very quickly seem overwhelming. But did you know that over half of Americans have money invested in the stock market? With so many people investing in variable products these days, many Veterans have chosen to invest in securities that offer the possibility for large returns, but also could lose value. This can be potentially dangerous for those who aren’t paying attention or are only looking at the upside of an investment (high annual return, for example).

Protect Yourself

In order to protect yourself, your family and your financial future, it’s good to be informed about where your money is going when you invest. Similar to life in the military, sales people are always trying to sell you on something – a new idea, a new car and even a new investment. Before you hand over your hard-earned money, ask yourself if this is something you need. Take the time to learn about the risks and rewards of stocks, bonds, and mutual funds – what are their rates of return? How long have they been around? In what companies is the money invested? How are dividends paid? Have you recently heard about this investment in the news?

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recommends 5 questions to ask before you invest to help you become better informed:

  1. Is the seller licensed?
  2. Is the investment registered?
  3. How do the risks compare to the potential rewards?
  4. Do you understand the investment?
  5. Where can you turn for help?

It’s important to find an advisor who is going to look out for your own best interests, and find a financial plan that works best for you. You can find information about potential investment advisors, and submit complaints and questions, on SEC’s website

More Information

  • Securities and Exchange Commission’s website to help people invest wisely and avoid fraud.
  • SEC’s website offers comprehensive information about companies and advisors, as well as the latest information relevant to the regulated securities industry.
  • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) offers assistance and guidance to Servicemembers and the public on a variety of financial issues.

adam-anicichAdam Anicich, a longtime financial literacy advocate, is an Army Veteran and the Director of External Coordination for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, having previously overseen VA’s Congressional Liaison Service and worked extensively in private banking.





image of Matt WebbMatt Webb, a former Marine and NCAA Orange Bowl champion and has hosted VA’s The American Veteran. Matt works in VA’s Office of Information Technology and is a frequent speaker at local and national events on financial management among Veterans and their families.





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Published on Oct. 27, 2016

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