Researchers and Librarians—Easy Access to Selected Securities and Investor Information at the SEC

Researchers and Librarians-Easy Access to Selected Securities and Investor Information at the SEC

Office of Investor Education and Advocacy

Current Issues at the SEC

Enron, Hedge Funds, Sarbanes-Oxley, and more
http://www.sec.gov/spotlight.shtml

Official Documents and Reports

Releases

Press Releases
http://www.sec.gov/news/press.shtml

Rulemaking
http://www.sec.gov/rules.shtml

No Action Letters, Staff Accounting Bulletins, Staff Legal Bulletins
http://www.sec.gov/interps.shtml

Reports

Special Studies
http://www.sec.gov/news/studies.shtml

Annual Report of the SEC
http://www.sec.gov/about/annrep.shtml

Litigation, Decisions, Opinions, Enforcement Cases

Enforcement actions, opinions, briefs, trading suspensions, investors claims funds
http://www.sec.gov/litigation.shtml

Annual compilation of enforcement cases by category in the appendix of the SEC Annual Report
http://www.sec.gov/about/annrep.shtml

Accountants and Auditors

Information on the SEC's website for accountants and auditors
http://www.sec.gov/about/offices/oca.htm

Laws, Rules, Regulations

Rules and regulations are generally at volume 17 of the Code of Federal Regulations (17 CFR)
http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/cfr-table-search.html

Federal securities laws
http://www.sec.gov/about/laws.shtml

Agency Rulemaking and Release Identification

Rulemaking Releases

  • The agency may begin the rulemaking process by issuing a concept release.
     
  • The agency may skip this process and instead issue a proposed rule.
     
  • Concept releases and proposed rules are put out for notice and comment.
     
  • After the notice and comment period on a proposed rule, the agency generally issues a final rule.
     
  • Rules and releases appear in the Federal Register

Release Identification

  • Press releases are numbered beginning with the year followed by a sequential number: 2004-1, 2004-2 …
     
  • Rule releases have a 2-character prefix that tells which law the rule primarily involves:
    • 1933 Act: 33-12345
    • 1934 Act: 34-12345
    • 1935 Act: 35-45678
    • 1939 Act: 39-23456
    • 1940 Investment Company Act: IC-12345
    • 1940 Investment Advisers Act: IA-12345
    • There maybe several act numbers assigned to a single release

    Under the securities laws, the Commission can bring enforcement actions either in the federal courts or internally through an administrative proceeding. For federal court cases, the agency issues a "litigation release" to announce the filing and resolution of each lawsuit. Litigation releases always begin with the letters "LR" (for example, LR-12345). For administrative proceedings, there are four general types of releases:

  • A notice of institution and/or settlement of administrative proceedings, which will have a sequential number containing 2-digit prefix that tells you which securities law the defendant allegedly violated (e.g., IA-1234, 34-1234);
     
  • An initial decision by an administrative law judge (ALJ) in a contested case, which will have a sequential number (e.g., Initial Decision No. 1234 or ID-1234);
     
  • A notice that an ALJ's initial decision has become final, which will have a new and different sequential number containing the 2-digit prefix (e.g., IA-5678, 34-5678); and
     
  • A Commission order or opinion on appeal from an ALJ's initial decision, which will have another new and different sequential number with the 2-digit prefix (e.g., IA-91011, 34-91011).

Finding Company Information

EDGAR (SEC's Online Database of Company Reports)
http://www.sec.gov/edgar.shtml

How to Use EDGAR
http://www.sec.gov/edgar/quickedgar.htm

Corporate Reports, How to Get
http://www.sec.gov/answers/companyinfo.htm

Info About Some Companies Not Available at SEC
http://www.sec.gov/answers/noinfo.htm

Investor Information by Topic

http://www.sec.gov/investor.shtml

Investor Education Publications
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs_subject.shtml

Calculators for Investors
http://www.sec.gov/investor/tools.shtml

Check Out Your Broker
http://www.sec.gov/investor/brokers.htm

Pathfinders/Annotated Guides

Beginners' Guide to Investing
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/begininvest.htm

Beginners' Guide to Mutual Funds
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/beginmutual.htm

Guide to Identifying and Avoiding Securities Fraud
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/identavoidfraud.htm

How to File a Complaint with the SEC

SEC Center for Complaints and Enforcement Tips
http://www.sec.gov/complaint.shtml

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Questions and Comments

We have provided this information as a service to investors.  It is neither a legal interpretation nor a statement of SEC policy.  If you have questions concerning the meaning or application of a particular law or rule, please consult with an attorney who specializes in securities law.