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What is the American Association of Individual Investors?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Kristen Osborne
  • Last Modified Date: 13 February 2020
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The American Association of Individual Investors (AAII) is an organization with a mission of investor education. It offers information and advice on investment and personal finance to its members and also maintains a number of resources for use by investors. Some of these services are free, while others are members-only and people must pay a membership fee to access them. The fee is kept low to make membership accessible for much of the general public.

Founded in 1978 in Chicago, the American Association of Individual Investors works to provide investment information without bias or pressure. It does not accept industry advertisements and attempts to keep itself nonpartisan on industry issues, providing members with neutral information they can use in making investment and personal finance decisions. The group maintains two model portfolios people can use as samples for their own investments and boasts an excellent performance record on these portfolios.

Another important service of the American Association of Individual Investors is its periodic sentiment survey. In this survey, members are asked about where they think the market will be in six months. The survey results are released publicly, providing a forecast of consumer and investor confidence. When the survey is published, it often attracts attention in the financial news, as it offers an excellent overview of how average individual investors are feeling about the market.

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This financial education organization is a nonprofit. Members of the American Association of Individual Investors have access to a member's magazine along with features on the group's website aimed at helping people with investment planning and other decisions. It provides information about how regulation of the industry works, what kinds of laws people need to know about, and how to select investments on the basis of soundness and projections for future performance.

Like other organizations associated with the investment industry, the American Association of Individual Investors draws on a number of sources to pull together information for members, and many of its personnel come from diverse backgrounds within the investment industry. Using staff members with varying degrees of experience allows the group to cover a range of investment issues, drawing upon people with real world experience to make sure the information is as accurate and helpful as possible. Investors of varying skill and experience levels can join the organization and may attend workshops, classes, and other events sponsored by it to connect with other investors and get important information about investments.

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