My Florida C F O

Dear Fellow Floridians:

Each year, beginning on Benjamin Franklin’s birthday, who some might say is America’s founding father of thrift, we celebrate "Thrift Week." Increasing financial literacy and the ability of consumers to make sound budgeting and spending decisions is the backbone to a healthy economy. In a continued effort to highlight the importance of saving and the steps needed to obtain long-term financial security, I’m pleased to once again sponsor a resolution signed by Governor Scott and my fellow Cabinet members recognizing this week as "Florida Thrift Week."

Now considered a thrift education opportunity, the movement got its start in 1916, as the nation was presented with the reality of a burdened wartime economy following World War I. As a result, American civic leaders took it upon themselves to arm their citizens in the fight for financial freedom and "National Thrift Week" was introduced.

A century later, the principles of strategic budgeting continue to remain an integral component in long-term financial stability. Recognizing that smart saving and spending strategies will help Floridians reach their long-term economic goals is just the first step. Implementing these strategies is the only way we’ll gain the financial security needed to enhance financial literacy and promote economic development among our communities.

Year after year, the James Madison Institute (JMI), a Florida-based research and educational organization, has taken a head-on approach to recognizing Thrift Week and highlighting the importance of smart spending. As a part of their efforts, JMI has teamed up with multiple newspapers across the state to distribute a supplemental curriculum, All About the Benjamins: Understanding the Value of Thrift, aimed at increasing the thriftiness of students across Florida. I encourage all of you to check out JMI’s curriculum and join us in the fight to attain long-term financial stability.

As we push for a quality start to 2017, I hope you’ll join me in celebrating National Thrift Week. From shopping at second-hand stores to better planning to prevent spontaneous purchases, there are easy ways to save a dollar here and there.


Jeff Atwater
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida

Operation S.A.F.E., Be Scam Smart Workshops

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater invites you to participate in Operation S.A.F.E., Be Scam Smart, a free workshop for seniors, their families, and caregivers.

The Florida Department of Financial Services launched Operation S.A.F.E. (Stop Adult Financial Exploitation) as part of CFO Atwater’s On Guard for Seniors initiative. Be Scam Smart workshops help inform, empower, and protect Florida’s seniors from financial scams and fraud. If you want to make sure your savings are protected, register for this workshop and get a better understanding of how scam artists and scams work.

Operation S.A.F.E.Be Scam Smart by learning more about:

  • How to Spot Fraudulent Behavior
  • Common Scams that Target Seniors
  • How to Fight Identity Theft

Feedback from seniors who attended a Be Scam Smart workshop:

“Savored every moment of this workshop. The information was needed and vital for seniors’ and consumers’ financial survival.” - West Palm Beach

“Presentations were great & well timed. Excellent information we all need to know.” - Pensacola

“Every senior in the city and state should attend the Be Scam Smart Workshop.” - Jacksonville

“Thank you for alerting us to the scam we as seniors are exposed to.” - Brandon

Find out more about us in the About Us section or Register for an upcoming event, including the following workshop:

  • Wednesday, February 8 - Wauchula
    10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
    Hardee County Public Library
    315 N. 6th Avenue, Wauchula, FL 33873
    Register | Directions | Flyer

Please let us know if you would like to request a workshop in your area.

Florida Economic Brief

Florida Venture Capital investment totaled $1.1 billion in 2016
In 2016, Florida businesses attracted $1.1 billion in venture capital investment (71 deals), an increase of 29.1 percent from the prior year ($866.7 million, 75 deals). Nationally, $58.6 billion in venture capital was invested in 4,520 deals in 2016.
Source: PricewaterhouseCoopers