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

Jan. 19, 2012

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

Official Documents and Reports


Press Releases


No Action Letters, Staff Accounting Bulletins, Staff Legal Bulletins


Special Studies

Annual Report of the SEC

Litigation, Decisions, Opinions, Enforcement Cases

Enforcement actions, opinions, briefs, trading suspensions, investors claims funds

Annual compilation of enforcement cases by category in the appendix of the SEC Annual Report

Accountants and Auditors

Information on the SEC's website for accountants and auditors

Laws, Rules, Regulations

Rules and regulations are generally at volume 17 of the Code of Federal Regulations (17 CFR)

Federal securities laws

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

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:

  • 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
  • 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)

How to Use EDGAR

Corporate Reports, How to Get

Info About Some Companies Not Available at SEC

Investor Information by Topic

Investor Education Publications

Calculators for Investors

Check Out Your Broker

Pathfinders/Annotated Guides

Beginners' Guide to Investing

Beginners' Guide to Mutual Funds

Guide to Identifying and Avoiding Securities Fraud

How to File a Complaint with the SEC

SEC Center for Complaints and Enforcement Tips

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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.

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