Aug. 9, 2023

At the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), we work together to make a positive impact on the U.S. economy, our capital markets, and people’s lives.

Since our founding in 1934 at the height of the Great Depression, we have stayed true to our mission of protecting investors, maintaining fair, orderly, and efficient markets, and facilitating capital formation.

Our mission requires tireless commitment and unique expertise from our staff of dedicated public servants who care deeply about protecting the investing public and others who rely on our markets to secure their financial futures.

Protecting Investors

The federal securities laws we oversee are based on a simple and straightforward concept: everyone should be treated fairly and have access to certain facts about investments and those who sell them.

Companies offering securities for sale to the public must tell the truth about their business, the securities they are selling, and the investment risks. And those who sell and trade securities and offer advice to investors – such as brokers-dealers, investment advisers, and exchanges – must treat investors fairly and honestly.

We protect investors by vigorously enforcing the federal securities laws to ensure truth and fairness. We deter misconduct, hold wrongdoers accountable, and provide resources to help investors evaluate their investment choices and protect themselves against fraud.

Maintaining Fair, Orderly, and Efficient Markets

Our U.S. capital markets are the deepest, most dynamic, and most liquid in the world. They also have evolved to become increasingly fast and extraordinarily complex.

As we oversee more than $100 trillion in securities trading on U.S. equity markets annually, it is our job to be responsive and innovative in the face of significant market developments and trends.

As technological advancements have changed how our securities markets operate, our ability to remain an effective regulator requires us to continuously monitor the market environment and, as appropriate, adjust and modernize our rules, regulations, and oversight tools and activities.

Facilitating Capital Formation

Our regulatory governance provides companies and entrepreneurs with a variety of avenues to access the U.S. economy's capital markets to help them create jobs, develop life-changing innovations and technology, and provide financial opportunities for those who invest in them.

Access to capital is particularly critical for small businesses, which create approximately two-thirds of all new jobs in the U.S. economy.

Learn more about what we do to facilitate ways for small businesses to raise capital and succeed.

Achieving Our Mission

We are steadfast in our dedication to our longstanding three-part mission as we keep pace with our ever-evolving markets and inspire the full confidence of the investing public and market participants alike.

As we continue to monitor the activities of more than 28,000 entities in the securities industry, we remain dedicated to the interests of long-term investors who are entrusting their hard-earned savings to our securities markets to fund home purchases, college educations, and other important life events.

Last Reviewed or Updated: June 12, 2024