Securities and Exchange Commission
Dec. 21, 1999
The U.S. Congress created the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in 1934 following the stock market crash of 1929. Our country decided that for capitalism to flourish, we needed to protect investors from fraud and unfair sales practices.
Since 1934, as our markets have grown and changed, our laws and SEC regulations have kept pace with Wall Street. Although complex, these laws and regulations boil down to two very simple and common sense notions:
- People who seek your investment dollars must tell you the truth about their businesses.
- People who sell securities must treat you fairly and honestly, putting your interests first.
Most businesses that raise money from you must "register" with the SEC and "disclose" important information to the investing public regularly. People and businesses that sell securities to you or advise you about investing must be licensed and closely supervised to make sure that they deal with you fairly.
The SEC protects investors by enforcing our nation's securities laws, taking action against wrongdoers, and overseeing our securities markets and firms to ensure that investors are treated fairly and honestly.