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Online Publications for Investors
Annotated Subject Guide

*   Go to Alphabetical Listing
*   Go to Subject Listing

 American Depositary Receipts
 Arbitration
 Auditing
 Bankruptcy
 Bonds
 Brokers and Brokerages
   - Online, Electronic Accounts
 Certificates of Deposit
 EDGAR (SEC's online database
      of company reports)

 Financial Statements
 Fraud
   -  Identity Theft
 Hedge Funds
 Insurance -
   -  life
   -  variable annuities
 Investment Advisers, Advisors
 Investment Clubs
 Investment Companies
 Investments -
   -  calculators, planning
   -  foreign (non-U.S.)
   -  Internet
   -  prepaid tuition, college savings plan
   -  products, choices
   -  research, education
   -  retirement income
 Investors -
   -  accredited investors  
   -  complaints, investigations
   -  foreign (non-U.S.)
   -  privacy rights, protections
   -  seniors
 Mutual Funds
 Promissory Notes
 Securities Investor Protection Corp.
 Tender Offers
 Trading Securities
   -  day trading
   -  online, electronic trading
   -  margin, purchase agreements
   -  laws, rules and regulations
 Small Business
 US Securities and Exchange
      Commission -

   -  divisions and offices
   -  guides, handbooks, research-
        tools

American Depositary Receipts (ADRs)

International Investing: Get the Facts.  There are different ways you can invest internationally: through mutual funds, American Depositary Receipts, U.S.-traded foreign stocks, or direct investments in foreign markets. This brochure explains the basic facts about international investing and how you can learn more about foreign companies and markets.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/ininvest.htm

Arbitration

Arbitration Procedures.  Get more information and answers about arbitration procedures in the securities industry from FINRA.
http://www.finra.org/ArbitrationMediation/Rules/index.htm

Complaints and Questions.  This document will take you through our process of handling individual investor complaints.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/howoiea.htm

Auditing

All About Auditors.  This publication describes the role of the auditor in reviewing a company’s financial books and records.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/aboutauditors.htm

Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy: What Happens When Public Companies Go Bankrupt.  This publication answers the following questions and more: What happens when a public company files for protection under the federal bankruptcy laws? Who protects the interests of investors? Do old securities have any value when, and if, the company is reorganized?
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/bankrupt.htm

Bonds

Ultra-Short Bond Funds: Know Where You're Parking Your Money. Ultra-short bond funds are mutual funds with extremely short maturities, or time periods in which they become due for payment. Our publication explains these funds and how they differ from other investments with relatively low risks, such as money market funds and certificates of deposits (CDs).
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/ultra-short_bond_funds.htm

Brokers and Brokerages

All About Auto-trading.  Investment newsletters often market "auto-trading" programs as a way for investors to get instant execution of trades of securities the newsletter recommends. However, auto-trading programs can be highly risky. Our brochure provides some steps you will want to take to check out "auto-trading" before handing over your money.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/autotrading.htm

Analyzing Analyst Recommendations.  This publication will help you evaluate research reports and recommendations that analyst prepare. As a general matter, investors should not rely solely on an analyst’s recommendation when deciding whether to buy, hold, or sell a stock.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/analysts.htm

Cold Calling: Unsolicited Calls from Brokers.  This brochure tells you how to deal with cold calls, how to stop them, and how to evaluate any investment opportunity that comes your way over the telephone.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/coldcall.htm

Compliance Guide to the Registration and Regulation of Brokers and Dealers.  This document provides a comprehensive guide to Broker-Dealer registration, including the laws, rules, and regulations.
http://www.sec.gov/divisions/marketreg/bdguide.htm

Execution Quality Statistics: How to Find Information on Order Execution and Routing Practices.  Market Centers that trade national market system securities must provide basic information concerning their quality of executions on a stock-by-stock basis, including how market orders of various sizes are executed relative to the public quotes and information about the effective spreads. This document provides links to this information.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/exquality.htm

Form for Taking Notes.  The SEC suggests that you use this form to keep a record of what your broker tells you about your investments.
http://www.sec.gov/complaint/callform.htm

Get the Facts on Saving and Investing.  This is your roadmap for starting on a journey toward financial security through saving and investing.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/roadmap.htm

Invest Wisely: Advice From Your Securities Industry Regulators.  Before making an investment in securities, you must decide which brokerage firm and sales representative—also referred to as a stockbroker, account executive, or registered representative—to use.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/inws.htm

Protect Your Money: Check Out Brokers and Investment Advisers.  Before you invest, make sure your brokers, investment advisers, and investment adviser representatives are licensed to sell securities. This brochure details how you can determine the validity of your broker's credentials, whether your broker has had any problems, and more.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/brokers.htm

Trade Execution: What Every Investor Should Know.  This is your guide to what happens when you place an order to buy or sell stock.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/tradexec.htm

Transferring your Brokerage Account: Tips on Avoiding Delays.  Many investors transfer their accounts from one brokerage firm to another without a hitch -- but the process takes time. This publication details what you can expect when you transfer your account and describes how account transfers occur.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/acctxfer.htm

Broker and Brokerages - Online, Electronic Accounts

Online Brokerage Accounts: What You Can Do to Safeguard Your Money and Your Personal Information.  You will need to protect yourself against identity thieves, whether hackers, phishers, or snoops, when you use your online brokerage account.  This publication provides a few suggestions on ways to keep your personal information and money more secure when you go online.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/onlinebrokerage.htm

Certificates of Deposit

Certificates of Deposit: Tips for Investors.  This publication takes an in-depth look at certificates of deposit (CDs).
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/certific.htm

EDGAR (SEC’s online database of company reports)

Corporate Reports, How to Get.  Need public company information? This brochure will provide information about reports filed with the SEC and other sources.

How Do I Use EDGAR?  This is your guide to searching the SEC’s online database of company reports.
http://www.sec.gov/edgar/quickedgar.htm

Researching Public Companies Through EDGAR: A Guide for Investors.  This guide provides an overview of the free online database of corporate information filed with the SEC known as EDGAR. In this guide, you will find tips for using the database and answers to frequently asked questions about researching public companies.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/edgarguide.htm

Financial Statements

Beginners' Guide to Financial Statements.  This brochure will help you gain a basic understanding of how to read financial statements.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/begfinstmtguide.htm

Getting Info About Companies.  This document tells you how to get information on public companies from a variety of sources: SEC reports, reference books, and commercial databases.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/companies.htm

A Plain English Handbook: How to Create Clear SEC Disclosure Documents.  Created by the SEC, this handbook shows you how you can use plain English to produce more informative disclosure documents.
http://www.sec.gov/news/extra/handbook.htm

"Pro Forma" Financial Information: Tips for Investors.   It is important for investors to know that "pro forma" information is not prepared in accordance with the standards applied to financial statements filed with the SEC. In addition, following passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, the SEC adopted additional disclosure requirements for public companies releasing "pro forma" financial data.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/proforma08-11.htm

Fraud

Auto-Surfing: What You Need to Know  This publication defines auto-surfing and explains the potential for fraud ("Ponzi" or pyramid scheme) that individuals face when signing on with auto-surfing firms. In addition, it offers some advice for investors to take into account before deciding to become an auto-surfer.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/autosurf.htm

Avoiding Internet Investment Scams: Tips for Investors.  You should be skeptical of investment opportunities you learn about through the Internet. You can avoid online investment scams by getting the facts before you invest. This publication will answer some questions for you; let it assist you when you begin to do your research and investigation.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/scams.htm

Broken Promises: Promissory Note Fraud.  While promissory notes can be legitimate investments, those that are marketed broadly to individual investors often turn out to be scams.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/promise.htm

Cold Calling: Unsolicited Calls from Brokers.  This brochure tells you how to deal with cold calls, how to stop them, and how to evaluate any investment opportunity that comes your way over the telephone.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/coldcall.htm

Fake Seals and Phony Numbers: How Fraudsters Try to Look Legit.  Some fraudsters mix truth with fiction to make their lies more believable. Learn how to protect yourself against deceptive tactics with this publication.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/fakeseals.htm

The Fleecing of Foreign Investors: Avoid Getting Burned by "Hot" U.S. Stocks.  An increasing number of "reload" and "advance fee" scams target non-U.S. investors who lost money buying low-priced, thinly traded over-the-counter stocks and who seek to recover their losses. This brochure describes how some of these scams work, provides tips on how to avoid them, and tells you where to find help.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/fleecing.htm

Guide to Identifying and Avoiding Securities Fraud.  This is a handy, easy-to-use reference guide to materials available at the SEC to help investors recognize and avoid fraud.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/identavoidfraud.htm

"High Yields" and Hot Air.  This brochure alerts you to what you should know before you receive those investment offers that purport to pay sky-high returns for what are at best extremely risky propositions and at worst are pure fraud.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/investorfraud.htm

How To Avoid Fraud.  Prepare and protect yourself: this publication will help you to recognize the tell-tale signs of fraud and provides tips for avoiding investment scams.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/avoidfraud.htm

Internet Fraud: How to Avoid Internet Investment Scams.  This publication will tell you how to spot different types of Internet fraud, what the SEC is doing to fight Internet investment scams, and how to use the Internet to invest wisely.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/cyberfraud.htm

Microcap Stock: A Guide for Investors.  Information about "microcap stocks"—low priced stocks issued by the smallest companies—may be difficult to find. When reliable information is scarce, fraudsters can easily spread false information about microcap companies, making profits while creating losses for unsuspecting investors.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/microcapstock.htm

"Phishing" Fraud: How to Avoid Getting Fried by Phony Phishermen.  This alert describes how to avoid "phishing scams," which involve the use of fraudulent emails and copy-cat websites to trick you into revealing valuable personal information, including account numbers and the login IDs and passwords you use to access online financial services providers.  Be aware that fraudsters who collect this information then use it to steal your money or your identity or both.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/phishing.htm

Pump&Dump.con: Tips for Avoiding Stock Scams on the Internet.  Take time to learn about one of the most common Internet frauds: which is the classic "pump and dump" scheme.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/pump.htm

SIPC Exposes Phony "Look-Alike" Web Site.  A group of fraudsters created a fake mirror image of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC)'s website and used the "look-alike" site to mislead investors. This publication offers  tips on avoiding similar frauds and tells you how to contact the real regulators.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/sipc.htm

Stock Market Fraud "Survivor" Checklist.  This publication lists steps you can follow to avoid stock market fraud.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/fraudsurvivor.htm

Worthless Stock: How to Avoid Doubling Your Losses.  Con artists across the globe have stepped up their efforts to rip off investors, especially non-U.S. residents who have lost money in the U.S. securities markets.  The SEC wants investors to be extremely skeptical of offers to exchange worthless or poorly performing stocks for blue chips or "hot" performers.  Our alert tells you how to spot potential "stock swap" scams, how to evaluate the offers you hear about, and where to turn for help.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/worthless.htm

"Wrong Numbers" and Stock Tips on Your Answering Machine.  It is never a good idea to put your hard earned money into a stock on the basis of a hot tip from somebody you do not know.  This publication offers guidance on what to do if you receive that anonymous tip on your telephone answering machine.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/wrongnumberscam.htm

Fraud - Identity Theft

Online Brokerage Accounts: What You Can Do to Safeguard Your Money and Your Personal Information.  You will need to protect yourself against identity thieves, whether hackers, phishers, or snoops, when you use your online brokerage account.  This publication provides a few suggestions on ways to keep your personal information and money more secure when you go online.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/onlinebrokerage.htm

Hedge Funds

Hedge Funds: Investor Alert from FINRA.  This FINRA publication is designed to provide you with a sense of the increased risk and the many nuances associated with hedge funds.
http://www.finra.org/Investors/ProtectYourself/InvestorAlerts/MutualFunds/P006028

Insurance - Life

Exchanging Life Insurance Policies: Investor Alert from FINRA.  This is a publication with information about your life insurance policy and what to do if you have been approached to exchange it for a new policy.
http://www.FINRA.com/web/idcplg?IdcService=SS_GET_PAGE&ssDocName=FINRAW_006025&ssSourceNodeId=1145

Insurance - Variable Annuities

Variable Annuities: What You Should Know.  Variable annuities have become a part of the retirement and investment plans of many Americans. This publication is a general description of variable annuities: what they are, how they work, and the charges you will pay.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/varannty.htm

Investment Advisers, Advisors

All About Auto-trading.  Investment newsletters often market "auto-trading" programs as a way for investors to get instant execution of trades of securities the newsletter recommends. However, auto-trading programs can be highly risky. Our brochure provides some steps you will want to take to check out "auto-trading" before handing over your money.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/autotrading.htm

Five Questions to Ask Before You Invest. Whether you’re a first-time investor or have been investing for many years, there are some basic questions you should always ask before you commit your hard-earned money to an investment.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/fivequestions.htm.

Get the Facts on Saving and Investing.  This is your roadmap for starting on a journey toward financial security through saving and investing.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/roadmap.htm

Investment Advisers: What You Need to Know Before Choosing One.  The SEC receives many questions about investment advisers—who they are and how to go about choosing one. This document answers some of the typical questions we receive from investors. The Q&A section is for the benefit of investors. You should not rely upon it to determine if you need to register as an investment adviser.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/invadvisers.htm

Protect Your Money: Check Out Brokers and Investment Advisers.  Before you invest, make sure your brokers, investment advisers, and investment adviser representatives are licensed to sell securities. This brochure details how you can determine the validity of your broker's credentials, whether your broker has had any problems, and more.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/brokers.htm

Selecting and Monitoring Pension Consultants: Tips for Plan Fiduciaries.  Fiduciaries of employee benefit plans often rely on consultants in several key areas, such as determining the plan's investment objectives and restrictions, allocating plan assets, selecting money managers, choosing mutual fund options, tracking investment performance, and selecting other service providers. However, business alliances among pension consultants and money managers can give rise to serious potential conflicts of interest. This brochure provides a set of questions developed by the SEC and the Department of Labor to assist plan fiduciaries in evaluating the objectivity of any recommendation provided, or to be provided, by a pension consultant.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/sponsortips.htm

"Senior" Specialists and Advisors: What you should know about professional designations. Some financial professionals use designations that imply they are experts at helping seniors with financial issues. This publication will help you better understand the financial/investment professional designations many "senior" specialists and advisors attach to their name while at the same time encouraging you to evaluate their background.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/senior-profdes.htm

Understanding Investment Professional Designations (tips from FINRA).  This online tool from FINRA describes various professional designations, and tells you whether the granting organization mandates continuing education, offers a public disciplinary process, provides a means to check a professional’s status, and otherwise ensures that a professional designation is more than just a string of letters.
http://apps.finra.org/DataDirectory/1/prodesignations.aspx

Investment Clubs

Investment Clubs and the SEC.  Investment clubs and questions about them have grown tremendously. This document answers some of the most common questions and directs you to additional sources for further information.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/invclub.htm

Investment Companies

Periodic Payment Plans.  This type of investment allows investors to accumulate shares of a mutual fund indirectly by contributing a fixed, often small amount of money on a regular basis. This brochure explains periodic payment plans, describes their costs, and highlights questions you should ask before investing.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/perpayplans.htm

Investments - Calculators, Planning

Get the Facts on Saving and Investing.  This is your roadmap for starting on a journey toward financial security through saving and investing.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/roadmap.htm

The SEC Mutual Fund Cost Calculator: A Tool for Comparing Mutual Funds.  The Mutual Fund Cost Calculator enables investors to easily estimate and compare costs of owning mutual funds.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/tools/mfcc/mfcc-int.htm

Taking Stock: Getting Your Fiscal Act Together.  For investors, this is a good time to take stock of where you are and where you want to be and to plan how best to get there. Here you will find a list of practical steps that can help any of us get our fiscal act together.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/takingstock.htm

Investments - Foreign (Non-U.S.)

International Investing: Get the Facts.  There are different ways you can invest internationally: through mutual funds, American Depositary Receipts, U.S.-traded foreign stocks, or direct investments in foreign markets. This brochure explains the basic facts about international investing and how you can learn more about foreign companies and markets.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/ininvest.htm

Investments - Internet

Avoiding Internet Investment Scams: Tips for Investors.  You should be skeptical of investment opportunities you learn about through the Internet. You can avoid online investment scams by getting the facts before you invest. This publication will answer some questions for you; let it assist you when you begin to do your research and investigation.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/scams.htm

Internet Fraud: How to Avoid Internet Investment Scams.  This publication will tell you how to spot different types of Internet fraud, what the SEC is doing to fight Internet investment scams, and how to use the Internet to invest wisely.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/cyberfraud.htm

Stock Market Fraud "Survivor" Checklist.  This publication lists steps you can follow to avoid stock market fraud.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/fraudsurvivor.htm

Pump&Dump.con: Tips for Avoiding Stock Scams on the Internet.  Take time to learn about one of the most common Internet frauds: which is the classic "pump and dump" scheme.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/pump.htm

Tips for Online Investing: What You Need to Know About Trading In Fast-Moving Markets.  Investors trading over the Internet, who are used to instant access to their accounts and near instantaneous executions of their trades, especially need to understand how they can protect themselves in fast-moving markets.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/onlinetips.htm

Investments - Prepaid Tuition, College Savings Plan

Introduction to 529 Plans.  This publication provides an overview of 529 plans and comparison of the two types of these plans: prepaid tuition and college savings.  You will gain some insight as to the advantages and disadvantages associated with the plans, the investment choices and options, the tax implications, and the questions to ask before investing in a 529 plan.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/intro529.htm

Investments - Products, Choices

Beginners' Guide to Asset Allocation, Diversification, and Rebalancing.  For those beginning to invest as well as those investing and saving in the context of retirement, this publication explains three fundamental concepts of sound investing: asset allocation, diversification and rebalancing.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/assetallocation.htm

Investment Choices and Methods.  This document outlines and describes a variety of investment products available to investors. Included are links to several other sources of information about these products.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/investop.htm

Risky Business: "Pre-IPO [Initial Public Offering]" Investing.  Investing at the pre-IPO stage can involve significant risk for investors; learn why and what you should consider before undertaking this type of investing.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/preipo.htm

Investments - Research, Education

Analyzing Analyst Recommendations.  This publication will help you evaluate research reports and recommendations that analyst prepare. As a general matter, investors should not rely solely on an analyst’s recommendation when deciding whether to buy, hold, or sell a stock.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/analysts.htm

Ask Questions: Questions You Should Ask About Your Investments and What To Do If You Run Into Problems.  Questions you should ask about investment products and the people who sell those products with tips on how to monitor your investments.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/askquestions.htm http://www.sec.gov/pdf/pregunte.pdf ("Ask Questions" brochure in Spanish)

Beginners' Guide to Asset Allocation, Diversification, and Rebalancing.  For those beginning to invest as well as those investing and saving in the context of retirement, this publication explains three fundamental concepts of sound investing: asset allocation, diversification and rebalancing.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/assetallocation.htm

Beginners’ Guide to Investing.  This brochure provides a handy guide to the SEC’s materials available for those just beginning their journey into investing.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/begininvest.htm

Beginners’ Guide to Mutual Funds.  This brochure is a guide to many of the materials on mutual funds available at the SEC particularly for novice investors and potentially useful to seasoned investors as a refresher.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/beginmutual.htm

Fake Seals and Phony Numbers: How Fraudsters Try to Look Legit.  Some fraudsters mix truth with fiction to make their lies more believable. Learn how to protect yourself against deceptive tactics with this publication.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/fakeseals.htm

Get Info About Companies.  This document tells you how to get information on public companies from a variety of sources: SEC reports, reference books, and commercial databases.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/companies.htm

Get the Facts on Saving and Investing.  This is your roadmap for starting on a journey toward financial security through saving and investing.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/roadmap.htm

Guide to Identifying and Avoiding Securities Fraud.  This is a handy easy to use reference guide to materials available at the SEC to help investors recognize and avoid fraud.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/identavoidfraud.htm

"High Yields" and Hot Air.  This brochure alerts you to what you should know before you receive those investment offers that purport to pay sky-high returns for what are at best extremely risky propositions and at worst are pure fraud.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/investorfraud.htm

Invest Wisely: Advice From Your Securities Industry Regulators.  Before making an investment in securities, you must decide which brokerage firm and sales representative—also referred to as a stockbroker, account executive, or registered representative—to use.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/inws.htm

Invest Wisely: An Introduction to Mutual Funds.  This publication explains the basics of mutual fund investing, how mutual funds work, what factors to consider before investing, and how to avoid common pitfalls.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/inwsmf.htm

A Plain English Handbook: How to Create Clear SEC Disclosure Documents.  Created by the SEC, this handbook shows you how you can use plain English to produce more informative disclosure documents.
http://www.sec.gov/news/extra/handbook.htm

Pregunte (folleto en Espanol) ("Ask Questions" brochure in Spanish).  Questions you should ask about investment products and the people who sell those products with tips on how to monitor your investments.
http://www.sec.gov/pdf/pregunte.pdf (Spanish) http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/askquestions.htm

Researchers and Librarians—Easy Access to Selected Securities and Investor Information at the SEC.  This is a reference guide that will help you navigate through the information and many documents available at the SEC.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/easyaccess.htm

Stock Market Fraud "Survivor" Checklist.  This publication lists steps you can follow to avoid stock market fraud.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/fraudsurvivor.htm

Taking Stock: Getting Your Fiscal Act Together.  For investors, this is a good time to take stock of where you are and where you want to be and to plan how best to get there. Here you will find a list of practical steps that can help any of us get our fiscal act together.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/takingstock.htm

Investments - Retirement Income

Beginners' Guide to Asset Allocation, Diversification, and Rebalancing.  For those beginning to invest as well as those investing and saving in the context of retirement, this publication explains three fundamental concepts of sound investing: asset allocation, diversification and rebalancing.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/assetallocation.htm

Evaluating Your Retirement Options: The 403(b) Plan.  This publication examines 403(b) plans — which are tax-deferred retirement savings programs available to employees of public schools, employees of certain non-profit entities, and some members of the clergy — and outlines the choices you will likely need to make if you decide to invest in a 403(b) plan.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/teacheroptions.htm

Lump Sum Payouts: Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before You Invest a Dime. Determining what to do with a lump sum payout can be stressful, be it from an emotional event such as death or a separation from your job. This publication will help you make an informed decision about what to do with your lump sum by presenting you with questions to consider.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/lump_sum_payouts.htm

Ultra-Short Bond Funds: Know Where You're Parking Your Money. Ultra-short bond funds are mutual funds with extremely short maturities, or time periods in which they become due for payment. Our publication explains these funds and how they differ from other investments with relatively low risks, such as money market funds and certificates of deposits (CDs).
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/ultra-short_bond_funds.htm

Investors - Complaints, Investigations

About the SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy.  Our office acts as your gateway to the SEC. We cannot tell you what investments to make, but we can tell you how to invest wisely and protect your hard earned dollars from securities fraud and abuse. If you have suffered wrongdoing at the hands of a bad broker or investment adviser, we want to hear from you.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/aboutoiea.htm

Affinity Fraud: How to Avoid Investment Scams That Target Groups.  Learn how to identify and avoid investment scams that prey upon members of identifiable groups, such as religious or ethnic communities, the elderly, or professional groups.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/affinity.htm

Ask Questions: Questions You Should Ask About Your Investments and What To Do If You Run Into Problems.  Questions you should ask about investment products and the people who sell those products with tips on how to monitor your investments.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/askquestions.htm  http://www.sec.gov/pdf/pregunte.pdf ("Ask Questions" brochure in Spanish)

Beginners’ Guide to Investing.  This brochure provides a handy guide to the SEC’s materials available for those just beginning their journey into investing.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/begininvest.htm

Broken Promises: Promissory Note Fraud.  While promissory notes can be legitimate investments, those that are marketed broadly to individual investors often turn out to be scams.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/promise.htm

Complaints and Questions.  This document will take you through our process of handling individual investor complaints.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/howoiea.htm

Get the Facts on Saving and Investing.  This is your roadmap for starting on a journey toward financial security through saving and investing.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/roadmap.htm

SEC Complaint Center.  Report suspicious activity, file a complaint about a financial professional or an investment product, or ask questions. The Division of Enforcement and The Office of Investor Education and Advocacy created the SEC complaint center to address your concerns.
http://www.sec.gov/complaint.shtml

Investors - Foreign (Non-U.S.)

The Fleecing of Foreign Investors: Avoid Getting Burned by "Hot" U.S. Stocks.  An increasing number of "reload" and "advance fee" scams target non-U.S. investors who lost money buying low-priced, thinly traded over-the-counter stocks and who seek to recover their losses. This brochure describes how some of these scams work, provides tips on how to avoid them, and tells you where to find help.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/fleecing.htm

Worthless Stock: How to Avoid Doubling Your Losses.  Con artists across the globe have stepped up their efforts to rip off investors, especially non-U.S. residents who have lost money in the U.S. securities markets.  The SEC wants investors to be extremely skeptical of offers to exchange worthless or poorly performing stocks for blue chips or "hot" performers.  Our alert tells you how to spot potential "stock swap" scams, how to evaluate the offers you hear about, and where to turn for help.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/worthless.htm

Investors - Privacy Rights, Protections

The Investor’s Advocate: How the SEC Protects Investors and Maintains Market Integrity.  The laws and rules that govern the securities industry in the United States derive from a simple and straightforward concept: all investors, whether large institutions or private individuals, should have access to certain basic facts about an investment prior to buying it.
http://www.sec.gov/about/whatwedo.shtml

Investors - Seniors

A Guide for Seniors: Protect Yourself Against Investment Fraud.  This publication will help you recognize the many ways fraud can umpact your investments and how you can protecy yourself.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/seniors/guideforseniors.pdf

Privacy Choices for Your Personal Financial Information.  This is a descriptive guide to your privacy choices when you interact with companies involved in financial activities. Included is an appendix: "Laws Affecting Your Personal Privacy."
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/privbrochure.htm

Mutual Funds

Beginners’ Guide to Mutual Funds.  This brochure is a guide to many of the materials on mutual funds available at the SEC particularly for novice investors and potentially useful to seasoned investors as a refresher.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/beginmutual.htm

Invest Wisely: An Introduction to Mutual Funds.  This publication explains the basics of mutual fund investing, how mutual funds work, what factors to consider before investing, and how to avoid common pitfalls.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/inwsmf.htm

Mutual Fund Investing: Look at More Than a Fund’s Past Performance.  This publication looks at other factors involved over the long-term success (or failure) of your investment in a fund.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/mfperform.htm

Mutual Fund Proxy Voting Records and Policies.  Mutual funds and other registered management investment companies are required to disclose each year how they vote proxies relating to securities held in their portfolios. This publication provides a synopsis of the SEC's reporting requirements and tells you how you can find proxy voting record information in disclosure documents.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/mfproxyvoting.htm

The SEC Mutual Fund Cost Calculator: A Tool for Comparing Mutual Funds.   The Mutual Fund Cost Calculator enables investors to easily estimate and compare costs of owning mutual funds.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/tools/mfcc/mfcc-int.htm

Ultra-Short Bond Funds: Know Where You're Parking Your Money. Ultra-short bond funds are mutual funds with extremely short maturities, or time periods in which they become due for payment. Our publication explains these funds and how they differ from other investments with relatively low risks, such as money market funds and certificates of deposits (CDs).
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/ultra-short_bond_funds.htm

Promissory Notes

Broken Promises: Promissory Note Fraud.  This publication alerts you to fraud schemes that may confront you when investing in promissory notes and what you can do to avoid the costly mistake of investing in a sham.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/promise.htm

Promissory Notes: Promises, Problems.  This publication will help you understand the promissory note as a legitimate interest-paying investment and draw your attention to the fact that investors have to be aware: promissory notes are often susceptible to fraud.
http://www.sec.gov/pdf/promissory.pdf

Securities Investor Protection Corp.

SIPC Exposes Phony "Look-Alike" Web Site.  A group of fraudsters created a fake mirror image of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC)'s website and used the "look-alike" site to mislead investors. This publication offers  tips on avoiding similar frauds and tells you how to contact the real regulators.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/sipc.htm

Tender Offers

Mini-Tender Offers: Tips for Investors.  Mini-Tender offers typically do not provide the same disclosure and procedural protections that larger traditional offers provide. These offers—for less than five percent of a company’s stock—have been increasingly used to catch investors off guard.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/minitend.htm

Trading Securities

About Settling Trades In Three Days: Introducing T+3.  Investors must settle their security transactions in three business days ("T+3" shorthand for trade date plus three). This publication has answers to some of the questions we have received about "T+3".
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/tplus3.htm

After-Hours Trading: Understanding the Risks.  While after-hours trading presents investing opportunities, there are also risks particularly for individuals; learn what they are.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/afterhours.htm

All About Auto-trading.  Investment newsletters often market "auto-trading" programs as a way for investors to get instant execution of trades of securities the newsletter recommends. However, auto-trading programs can be highly risky. Our brochure provides some steps you will want to take to check out "auto-trading" before handing over your money.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/autotrading.htm

Execution Quality Statistics: How to Find Information on Order Execution and Routing Practices.  Market Centers that trade national market system securities must provide basic information concerning their quality of executions on a stock-by-stock basis, including how market orders of various sizes are executed relative to the public quotes and information about the effective spreads. This document provides links to this information.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/exquality.htm

Holding Your Securities—Get the Facts.  This publication explains in detail the choices you have when it comes to holding your securities including the advantages and disadvantages. It also answers many of your frequently asked questions.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/holdsec.htm

Microcap Stock: A Guide for Investors.  Information about "microcap stocks"—low priced stocks issued by the smallest companies—may be difficult to find. When reliable information is scarce, fraudsters can easily spread false information about microcap companies, making profits while creating losses for unsuspecting investors.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/microcapstock.htm

Trade Execution: What Every Investor Should Know.  This is your guide to what happens when you place an order to buy or sell stock.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/tradexec.htm

Trading Securities - Day Trading

Day Trading Margin Requirements: Know the Rules (tips from FINRA).  This guidebook provides some basic information about day trading margin requirements, and it answers a number of frequently asked questions.
http://www.finra.org/Investors/SmartInvesting/AdvancedInvesting/DayTrading/P005906

Day Trading: Your Dollars at Risk.  The facts and risks you should know about day trading, which involves the rapidly buying and selling of stocks throughout the day hoping that stocks will continue climbing or falling in value for the seconds to minutes they are owned.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/daytips.htm

Trading Securities - Online, Electronic Trading

Online Brokerage Accounts: What You Can Do to Safeguard Your Money and Your Personal Information.  You will need to protect yourself against identity thieves, whether hackers, phishers, or snoops, when you use your online brokerage account.  This publication provides a few suggestions on ways to keep your personal information and money more secure when you go online.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/onlinebrokerage.htm

Tips for Online Investing: What You Need to Know About Trading In Fast-Moving Markets.  Investors trading over the Internet or online, who are used to instant access to their accounts and near instantaneous executions of their trades, especially need to understand how they can protect themselves in fast-moving markets.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/onlinetips.htm

Trading Securities - Margin, Purchase Agreement

Day Trading Margin Requirements: Know the Rules (tips from FINRA).  This guidebook provides some basic information about day trading margin requirements, and it answers a number of frequently asked questions.
http://www.finra.org/Investors/SmartInvesting/AdvancedInvesting/DayTrading/P005906

Margin: Borrowing Money to Pay for Stocks.  "Margin" is borrowing money from you broker to buy a stock and using your investment as collateral. Learn how margin works and the risks you may encounter.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/margin.htm

Trading Securities - Laws, Rules and Regulations

Compliance Guide to the Registration and Regulation of Brokers and Dealers.  This document provides a comprehensive guide to Broker-Dealer registration, including the laws, rules, and regulations.
http://www.sec.gov/divisions/marketreg/bdguide.htm

The Investor’s Advocate: How the SEC Protects Investors and Maintains Market Integrity.  The laws and rules that govern the securities industry in the United States derive from a simple and straightforward concept: all investors, whether large institutions or private individuals, should have access to certain basic facts about an investment prior to buying it.
http://www.sec.gov/about/whatwedo.shtml

Key Points About Regulation SHO. 
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/regsho.htm

Researching the Federal Securities Laws Through the SEC Website.  This guide provides an overview that will help you research the federal securities laws using information and links found on the SEC website.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/securitieslaws.htm

Rule 144: Selling Restricted and Control Securities.  This brochure presents an overview of what you need to know about selling your restricted or controlled securities. It also describes how to have a restricted legend remove.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/rule144.htm

Small Business

Q&A: Small Business and the SEC.  This guide will help you understand how to raise capital and comply with the federal securities laws.
http://www.sec.gov/info/smallbus/qasbsec.htm

US Securities and Exchange Commission - Divisions and Offices

About the SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy.  Our office acts as your gateway to the SEC. We cannot tell you what investments to make, but we can tell you how to invest wisely and protect your hard earned dollars from securities fraud and abuse. If you have suffered wrongdoing at the hands of a bad broker or investment adviser, we want to hear from you.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/aboutoiea.htm

The Investor’s Advocate: How the SEC Protects Investors and Maintains Market Integrity.  The laws and rules that govern the securities industry in the United States derive from a simple and straightforward concept: all investors, whether large institutions or private individuals, should have access to certain basic facts about an investment prior to buying it.
http://www.sec.gov/about/whatwedo.shtml

US Securities and Exchange Commission - Guides, Handbooks, Research Tools

Compliance Guide to the Registration and Regulation of Brokers and Dealers.  This document provides a comprehensive guide to Broker-Dealer registration, including the laws, rules, and regulations.
http://www.sec.gov/divisions/marketreg/bdguide.htm

A Plain English Handbook: How to Create Clear SEC Disclosure Documents.  Created by the SEC, this handbook shows you how you can use plain English to produce more informative disclosure documents.
http://www.sec.gov/news/extra/handbook.htm

Researchers and Librarians—Easy Access to Selected Securities and Investor Information at the SEC.  This is a reference guide that will help you navigate through the information and many documents available at the SEC.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/easyaccess.htm

Researching the Federal Securities Laws Through the SEC Website.  This guide provides an overview that will help you research the federal securities laws using information and links found on the SEC website.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/securitieslaws.htm

Researching Public Companies Through EDGAR: A Guide for Investors.  This guide provides an overview of the free online database of corporate information filed with the SEC known as EDGAR. In this guide, you will find tips for using the database and answers to frequently asked questions about researching public companies.
http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/edgarguide.htm


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


Modified: 4/8/2015