The U.S. Security and Exchange Commission released tips on investing and saving. The following is a list of the suggestions on becoming a smarter investor.

Pay off high-interest debt

Few investments pay of as well as eliminating high-interest debt on credit cards or other loans, according to the SEC report.

Pay yourself first

Regularly putting savings away from a paycheck help investors achieve both short and long-term financial goals.

Boost your "rainy day" fund
Eric Risburg, Associated Press

The SEC recommends keeping about six months of expenses in a federally insured account.

Help stop affinity fraud in your community

Affinity fraud is scams that target members of identifiable groups.
The SEC has a website where investors can learn more about affinity fraud.

Don't put all your eggs in one basket
Kristen Murphy, Deseret News

Think twice before investing heavily in shares of your employer’s stock or any individual investment, according to the SEC tip list.

Take advantage of "free money" (if available)
Charlie Neibergall, Associated Press

The SEC suggests taking advantage of employer match retirement benefits. Not doing so could be a missed opportunity.

Beware of promises of "guaranteed returns"

A promise of high returns with little to no risk is sign of a scam.

Understand the fees you pay to buy, own and sell your investments

Returns will shrink with surprise fees and expenses.

Teach your children about good financial habits

Recent research suggests that direct teaching by parents is an important predictor of a young person’s future financial success, according to the SEC filings.

Research investments before handing over any money

Smart investors can use the SEC database to insure an investment is registered.

Check the background of your investment professional

Investors can also use the SEC database to run a background check on brokers or investment advisers.

Visit before making your next investment decision

The website was created by the SEC as a free service with "objective information on investing wisely and avoiding fraud," according to the SEC report.