Investors: Before you write or call us, use the alphabet bar or search box below — or scan our list of most frequently requested search terms — to find quick answers to common questions. If you wish to file an investor complaint, please use our online Investor Complaint Form.

If you don't find what you're looking for, please send us your question using our Question Form.

Industry participants: If you are (or represent) a corporate issuer, broker-dealer, investment adviser, investment company, or accountant -- and your question concerns the application or interpretation of a law or rule -- please contact the appropriate SEC division or office directly.

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Title: Advance Fee Fraud
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Title: "Ask" Price
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Title: "Bid" Price
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Title: "E" Added to Stock Ticker Symbol
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Title: "Pre-IPO" Investing
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Title: "Prime Bank" Investments
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Title: Pump and Dump
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Title: "Q" Added To Stock Ticker Symbol
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Title: "Restricted" Securities: Removing the Restrictive Legend
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Title: 401(k) Questions and Complaints
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Title: 8-K, How to Read
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Title: Accounts – Opening A Brokerage Account
Opening a brokerage account requires three critical decisions: who will buy and sell in the account, how will investments be paid, and how much risk will the account holder take.
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Title: Accredited Investors
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Title: After-Hours Trading
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Title: All-Or-None Order
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Title: American Depositary Receipts
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Title: Annual Report
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Title: Annuities
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Title: Arbitration
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Title: Arbitration, Limited Appeal Rights, SEC role
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Title: Arbitration, How to Find a Lawyer Specializing in Securities
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Title: Arbitration/Mediation, Clinics
Law schools in California, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania have established securities arbitration/mediation clinics to provide legal representation to investors who cannot hire a lawyer to handle their claims.
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Title: Ask Questions
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Title: Banking Regulators
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Title: Bankruptcy
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Title: Unsolicited Quotations
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Title: Best Execution
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Title: Blank Check Company
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Title: Blue Sky Laws
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Title: Boiler Room Schemes
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Title: Bond Funds
Bond funds and income funds are investments that deal primarily with debt securities.
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Title: Bond Swaps
When an investor sells one bond and uses the proceeds to purchase another bond, often at the same price.
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Title: Bond Terms
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Title: Bonds
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Title: Bonds, Corporate
Debt securities issued by private and public corporations.
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Title: Bonds, Municipal
Debt securities bonds issued by states, cities, counties and other governmental entities to finance capital projects.
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Title: Bonds, Selling Before Maturity
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Title: Bonus Credits, Annuities
Extra amount an insurance company agrees to add to a contract.
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Title: Book Entry
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Title: Breakpoint Discounts
Discounts offered to investors who purchases mutual fund shares.
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Title: Broker Dealer Record-Keeping Requirements
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Title: Broker Dealer Registration
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Title: Broker Dealer Registration: Where to File
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Title: Broker-Dealers: Receiving Your Funds or Securities
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Title: Broker-Dealers: Why They Ask for Personal Information
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Title: Brokerage Account
Last Updated:July 2017
Title: Brokers and Advisers
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Title: Bulletin Boards
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Title: Bonds, Callable or Redeemable
Bonds that can be redeemed or paid off by the issuer prior to the bonds' maturity date.
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Title: Canadian Tax-Deferred Retirement Savings Accounts
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Title: Cash Account
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Title: Certificates of Deposit
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Title: Central Registration Depository, CRD
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Title: Churning
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Title: Class Actions
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Title: Closed-End Funds
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Title: Closing Price
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Title: Cold Calling
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Title: Collaterized Mortgage Obligations (CMOs)
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Title: Comment Letters
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Title: Commodity Futures Trading Commission
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Title: Companies, Going Public
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Title: Complaints, How We Handle
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Title: Complaints, What To Do
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Title: Consolidated Tape
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Title: Contacting the SEC
The SEC can be contacted by mail, email, phone, and through an online complaint form.
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Title: Convertible Securities
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Title: Corporate Reports, How To Get
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Title: Cost Basis for Securities Transactions
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Title: Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organizations (NRSROs)
A credit rating agency assesses the creditworthiness of an obligor as an entity or with respect to specific securities or money market instruments.
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Title: Credit Reports, Disputing An Inaccurate Report
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Title: Cumulative Voting
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Title: CUSIP Number
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Title: Day Orders
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Title: Day Trade
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Title: Day Trading
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Title: Defunct Company, Stock Continues to Trade
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Title: Derivatives
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Title: Direct Investment Plans: Buying Stock Directly from the Company
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Title: Disaster-related Investment Scams
Disaster-related investment scams often increase following oil spills, hurricanes, floods, and other such tragedies.
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Title: 12b-1 Fees
Fees, also known as “distribution [and/or service] fees,” that are paid by a mutual fund out of fund assets to cover distribution and sometimes shareholder service expenses.
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Title: DTC, Chills at The Depository Trust Company
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Title: DTC, Freezes at The Depository Trust Company
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Title: Electronic Communication Networks (ECNs)
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Title: Electronic Mailboxes at the SEC
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Title: Employee Stock Options Plans
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Title: Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs)
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Title: Equity-Linked CDs
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Title: Escheatment Process
A process that goes into effect when a firm or financial institution is unable to identify the owner of an abandoned or unclaimed account.
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Title: Ex-Dividend Dates: When Are You Entitled to Stock and Cash Dividends
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Title: Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs)
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Title: Executive Compensation
Federal securities laws requires clear disclosure about compensation paid to CEOs, CFOs and certain other high-ranking executive officers of public companies.
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Title: Fair Disclosure, Regulation FD
Rule that aims to promote the full and fair disclosure of information by publicly traded companies and other issuers.
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Title: Filing and Registration Fees
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Title: Fill-Or-Kill Order
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Title: Financial Planners
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Title: Foreign Regulators
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Title: Form 10-K
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Title: Form 10-Q
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Title: Form 1099
All brokerage firms, mutual funds, companies, and other entities are required by law to report on Form 1099 all interest or dividends they have paid to investors during the previous tax year.
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Title: Form 13F-—Reports Filed by Institutional Investment Managers
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Title: Form 144
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Title: Form 8-K
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Title: Form ADV
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Title: Form D
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Title: Forms 3, 4, 5
Securitites ownership disclosure forms required to be filed by a company’s officers, directors and any beneficial owner of more than 10 percent of a class of the company’s equity securities.
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Title: Freeriding
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Title: Freeze
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Title: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
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Title: Householding Rules, Preventing Duplicate Copies of Prospectuses and Mutual Fund Reports
SEC allows funds to deliver a single copy of a prospectus or mutual fund shareholder report to investors who share the same address.
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Title: Going Private
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Title: Good-Til-Cancelled Order
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Title: Hedge Funds
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Title: High-Yield Investment Programs
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Title: Holding Your Securities
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Title: Holiday Schedules and Trading Hours for the Major Securities Markets
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Title: Home Mortgage Loans
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Title: Recovering Funds - How individual investors may be able to recover financial losses resulting from securities fraud
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Title: Publications
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Title: 10-K, How to Read
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Title: EDGAR, How To Use
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Title: Immediate-Or-Cancel Order
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Title: Index Funds
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Title: Information About Some Companies Not Available From the SEC
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Title: Investment Company, Shareholders' Information
Investors are advised to read all available information from the fund, including the prospectus, statement of additional information, and shareholder reports.
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Title: Information Matters
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Title: Initial Public Offerings (IPO)
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Title: Initial Public Offerings, Pricing Differences
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Title: Initial Public Offerings, Why Individuals Have Difficulty Getting Shares
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Title: Initial Public Offerings: Eligibility To Get Shares at Broker-Dealers
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Title: Initial Public Offerings: Lockup Agreements
A period of time—typically 180 days—where company insiders are prohibited from selling their shares after the company goes public.
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Title: Insider Trading
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Title: Internalization
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Title: International Investing
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Title: Internet Fraud
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Title: Interval Funds
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Title: Investigations by the SEC
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Title: Investing: Questions You Should Ask About Your Investments (PDF)
Investors should do thorough research and ask questions about products before purchasing them.
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Title: Investment Adviser Public Disclosure (IAPD)
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Title: Investment Adviser Registration Depository (IARD)
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Title: Investment Advisers
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Title: Investment Clubs
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Title: Investment Companies
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Title: Investment Company Registration and Regulation Package
General information about investment companies (e.g., mutual funds, closed-end funds, and unit investment trusts) that is available online.
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Title: Impersonators, Investor Alert
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Title: Investors Claims Funds
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Title: Bonds, Late Payment of Interest
The process of paying bondholders involves banking transactions that are subject to the supervision of state and federal banking authorities.
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Title: Late Trading
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Title: Lawyer Referrals
Investors seeking an attorney specializing in resolving securities complaints may obtain a referral from a list of bar associations.
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Title: Limit Orders
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Title: Listing and Delisting Requirements
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Title: Manipulation
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Title: Margin
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Title: Margin Position Sellouts
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Title: Market Capitalization
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Title: Market Centers: Buying and Selling Stock
Location where orders to buy and sell stocks are executed.
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Title: Market Indices
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Title: Market Maker
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Title: Market Order
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Title: Market Volatility Procedures and Circuit Breakers
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Title: Mediation
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Title: Mergers
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Title: Microcap Stock
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Title: Mini-Tender Offers
Small offers that result in owning less than 5 percent of a company’s stock; often used to catch shareholders off guard.
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Title: Money Market Fund
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Title: Mortgage-Backed Securities
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Title: Frequently Requested Search Terms
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Title: Mutual Fund Classes
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Title: Mutual Fund Cost Calculator
Online cost calculators are available to compare the costs of owning different mutual funds.
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Title: Mutual Fund Fees and Expenses
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Title: Mutual Fund Prospectus
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Title: Mutual Fund Redemptions, What You Should Know
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Title: Mutual Funds
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Title: Mutual Funds, Past Performance
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Title: Naked Short Sales
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Title: Nasdaq
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Title: National Securities Exchanges
Securities exchanges that have registered with the SEC under Section 6 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
Last Updated:April 2017
Title: Net Asset Value
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Title: Nigerian "Advance Fee Fraud" Schemes
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Title: No Action Letters
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Title: Oil and Gas
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Title: Old Stock and Bond Certificates
Old stock or bond certificates may still be valuable even if it no longer trades under the name printed on the certificate.
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Title: Online Investment Newsletters
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Title: Online Message Boards
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Title: Online Trading
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Title: Options Trading
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Title: Brokerage Orders
Investors have several orders options when it comes to buying and selling securities.
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Title: OTC Bulletin Board (OTCBB)
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Title: OTC Bulletin Board (OTCBB) Eligibility Rule
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Title: Pink Sheets
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Title: Pattern Day Trader
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Title: Payment for Order Flow
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Title: Penny Stock Rules
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Title: PIPE Offerings
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Title: "Ponzi" Schemes
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Title: Promissory Notes
A type of debt, similar to loans or IOUs, that companies sometimes use to raise money.
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Title: Proxy Statements
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Title: Proxy Statements: How to Find
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Title: Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB)
A private sector, nonprofit corporation created by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 to oversee accounting professionals who provide independent audit reports for publicly traded companies.
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Title: Pyramid Schemes
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Title: Quiet Period
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Title: Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITS)
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Title: Public Documents: How to Request Public Documents
Questions and inquiries relating to the Commission, federal securities laws and investments should be submitted via [https://www.sec.gov/oiea/QuestionsAndComments.html]. Public documents can be requested through the Office of FOIA/PA Operations.
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Title: Registration Under the Securities Act of 1933
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Title: Regulation D Offerings
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Title: Regulation SHO
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Title: Reverse Stock Splits
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Title: Rule 504 of Regulation D
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Title: Rule 505 of Regulation D
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Title: Rule 506 of Regulation D
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Title: Rulemaking, How It Works
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Title: Sales Practice Abuses
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Title: Saving Bonds
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Title: Savings Bond Calculator
Tool to help calculate how much savings bonds are currently worth, what it was worth in the past, and what it will be worth in the near future.
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Title: Schedule 13D
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Title: SEC's Test Your Money Smarts
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Title: Section 31 Transaction Fees
Sometimes described as the “SEC Fee,” this charge is designed to recover the costs incurred by the government for supervising and regulating the securities markets and securities professionals.
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Title: Securities Act Rule 144
A safe harbor for the public resale of restricted or control securities if a number of conditions are met, including how long the securities are held, the way in which they are sold, and the amount that can be sold at any one time.
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Title: Analyst Recommendations
SEC cautions investors not to rely solely on any analyst recommendation, and should know what they’re buying and why.
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Title: Securities and Exchange Commission
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Title: Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC)
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Title: Security Power
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Title: Selling Short Against the Box
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Title: Series 7 Examination
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Title: Settling Securities Transactions, T+3
Investors must complete or "settle" their security transactions within three business days.
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Title: Shareholder's Lists, When You Can Get Them
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Title: Short Sale Restrictions
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Title: Short Sale Volume and Transaction Data
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Title: Short Sales
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Title: Medallion Signature Guarantees
Medallion signature guarantees are required to transfer or sell securities in physical certificate form. These securities powers are needed before a transfer agent will accept the transaction.
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Title: Social Security Retirement Planner
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Title: Nationally Recognized Municipal Securities Information Repositories (NRMSIRs)
Free public access on sources of municipal securities information is available from the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB), through its Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA) website at www.emma.msrb.org.
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Title: Spam
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Title: Specialists
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Title: Spiders (SPDRs)
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Title: Spin-Offs
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Title: Spread
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Title: Staff Legal Bulletins
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Title: State Regulators
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Title: Securities Regulators, State
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Title: State Securities Regulators
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Title: Lost or Stolen Stock Certificates
A “stop transfer” should be immediately requested when securities certificates are lost, accidentally destroyed, or stolen.
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Title: Stock Certificates, Proving Ownership
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Title: Stock Directory and Prices in the U.S.
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Title: Stock Funds
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Title: Stock Splits
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Title: Stock Tables, How to Read Them
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Title: Stop Order
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Title: Stop-Limit Order
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Title: Street Name
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Title: Suitability
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Title: Tax Questions, Capital Gains & Losses
Questions or comments regarding a capital gains tax or a capital loss should be directed to the Internal Revenue Service.
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Title: Tax-Free vs. Taxable Yield Comparison Calculator
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Title: Telephone Calls From Brokers
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Title: Telephone Numbers at the SEC
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Title: Tender Offer
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Title: Federal Securities Laws
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Title: Threshold Securities
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Title: Tracking Stocks
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Title: Trade Execution
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Title: Trade Execution: Rules Your Brokerage Firm Must Follow
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Title: Trading Halts and Delays
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Title: Trading Suspensions
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Title: Transfer Agents
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Title: Transfer on Death (TOD) Registration
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Title: Transferring Your Brokerage Account
Account transfers are generally completed without a problem, often within two to three weeks.
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Title: Treasury Securities
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Title: Ultra-Short Bond Funds
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Title: Unauthorized Transactions
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Title: Unit Investment Trusts (UITS)
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Title: Variable Annuities
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Title: Variable Annuities - Free Look Period
A period of 10 or more days during which a contract can be terminated without paying any surrender charges, and a refund can be received.
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Title: Variable Annuities - Living Benefits
Certain protections for payouts, withdrawals, or account values against investment losses and/or unexpected longevity are commonly offered with variable annuities, usually for a fee.
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Title: Variable Annuities - What You Should Know (PDF)
Last Updated:Feb. 2017
Title: Variable Annuity Surrender Charges
A type of sales charge that must be paid if money is withdrawn or if the variable annuity is sold during the "surrender period.”
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Title: Viatical Settlements
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Title: Voting Rights (PDF)
Last Updated:July 2017
Title: Wash Sales
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Title: XBRL - Voluntary Financial Reporting on the EDGAR System
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Title: Zero Coupon Bonds
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