The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy provides a variety of services and tools to address problems you may face as an investor. Investor Alerts, focused on recent investment frauds and scams, and Investor Bulletins, focused on topical issues including recent Commission actions, are provided as a service to investors. They are neither legal interpretations nor statements 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. Subscribe to get Investor Alerts and Bulletins by email.

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Date
Title
Category
Date: Title: Investor Bulletin: Indexed Annuities
The SEC's Office of Investor Education and Advocacy is issuing this bulletin to educate investors about indexed annuities. Indexed annuities are complex products. Investors should carefully read the indexed annuity contract, and any prospectus, before deciding whether to buy the annuity.
Category:Investment Management
Investor Education and Advocacy
Date: Title: Investor Bulletin: Questions to Ask when Hiring an Investment Professional
Before investing in stock or other securities, you may decide to seek the help of an investment professional. Selecting this investment professional is an important decision. This Investor Bulletin provides you with questions you should ask before hiring any investment professional.
Category:Investment Management
Investor Education and Advocacy
Trading and Markets
Date: Title: Investor Bulletin: 10 Investment Tips for 2019
Whether you are a first-time investor or have been investing for years, here are 10 tips from the SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy to help you in 2019.
Category:Corporation Finance
Enforcement
Investment Management
Trading and Markets
Date: Title: Investor Bulletin: Variable Life Insurance
The SEC's Office of Investor Education and Advocacy is issuing this Investor Bulletin to educate investors about variable life insurance and how it works. This bulletin provides a general description of variable life insurance. The features of each policy may vary by product and by state.
Category:Investment Management
Investor Education and Advocacy
Date: Title: Updated Investor Bulletin: Variable Annuities
The SEC's Office of Investor Education and Advocacy is issuing this Investor Bulletin to educate investors about variable annuities and how they work.
Category:Investment Management
Investor Education and Advocacy
Date: Title: Investor Bulletin: World Investor Week 2018
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy, FINRA, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) are issuing this Investor Bulletin to highlight key messages from World Investor Week 2018.
Category:Corporation Finance
Enforcement
Investment Management
Trading and Markets
Date: Title: Investor Bulletin: Smart Beta, Quant Funds and other Non- Traditional Index Funds
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy is issuing this Investor Bulletin to inform investors about features and potential risks of non-traditional index funds.
Category:Investment Management
Investor Education and Advocacy
Date: Title: Investor Bulletin: Index Funds
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy is issuing this Investor Bulletin to provide investors basic information about index funds.
Category:Investment Management
Investor Education and Advocacy
Date: Title: Investor Bulletin: 10 Questions to Consider Before Opening a 529 Account
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy is issuing this Investor Bulletin to answer questions that may arise when investing in a 529 plan account. Please also see our companion Bulletin, An Introduction to 529 Plans, for background information on the plans.
Category:Investment Management
Investor Education and Advocacy
Date: Title: Investor Bulletin: Investment Clubs
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy is issuing this Investor Bulletin to answer some common questions investors ask us about investment clubs.
Category:Corporation Finance
Investment Management
Investor Education and Advocacy
Date: Title: Updated Investor Bulletin: An Introduction to ABLE Accounts
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy is issuing this Investor Bulletin to educate investors about ABLE accounts.
Category:Corporation Finance
Investment Management
Date: Title: Updated Investor Bulletin: Focus on Money Market Funds
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy is issuing this Investor Bulletin to help educate investors about money market funds, including money market funds’ investment objectives and risks. For additional assistance, investors can call the SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy at 1-800-SEC-0330, or ask a question using this online form.
Category:Investment Management
Date: Title: Investor Alert: Automated Investment Tools
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy (OIEA) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA) are issuing this alert to provide investors with a general overview of automated investment tools.
Category:Investment Management
Trading and Markets
Date: Title: Investor Bulletin: How to Check Out Your Financial Professional
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy is issuing this investor bulletin to provide investors with resources to check out a financial professional’s background.
Category:Investment Management
Investor Education and Advocacy
Trading and Markets
Date: Title: INVESTOR ALERT: INVESTMENT NEWSLETTERS USED AS TOOLS FOR FRAUD
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy is issuing this Investor Alert to help investors avoid fraudulent schemes that may be carried out through investment newsletters.
Category:Enforcement
Investment Management
Investor Education and Advocacy
Date: Title: Investor Bulletin: What is IAPD (Investment Adviser Public Disclosure)?
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy is issuing this Investor Bulletin to provide investors with a short overview of the SEC’s IAPD database. For additional information about IAPD, please visit the IAPD website on SEC.gov. For information about checking out the background of financial professionals more generally, please see our Investor Bulletin, Top Tips for Selecting a Financial Professional.
Category:Investment Management
Investor Education and Advocacy
Date: Title: Investor Bulletin - Mutual Fund Fees and Expenses (PDF)
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy is issuing
this Investor Bulletin to explain some of the most common
mutual fund fees and expenses. As a general introduction to
mutual fund fees and expenses, this Investor Bulletin does not
identify all of the fees that you may pay to buy and own shares
in a mutual fund. This Investor Bulletin will, however, familiarize
you with some typical mutual fund fees and expenses
and show you how those fees and expenses reduce the value of
your fund’s investment return.
Category:Investment Management
Investor Education and Advocacy
Date: Title: Advertising for Unregistered Securities Offerings (PDF)
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy is issuing this Investor Alert to educate individual investors about advertisements and announcements for investment opportunities in certain securities offerings. General advertising is permitted in certain offerings as a result of rules adopted by the SEC as required by the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act.
Category:Corporation Finance
Investment Management
Date: Title: How to Read a Mutual Fund Shareholder Report (PDF)
Mutual funds that are registered with the SEC must send reports to their shareholders on a semiannual basis. the semiannual report covers the first six months of the fund's fiscal year, while the annual report covers the fund's entire fiscal year. Mutual funds that are registered with the seC prepare their own shareholder reports and file them with the seC. so long as these funds disclose the information that the seC requires in the shareholder report, they can decide how to organize and present the information within the report.
Category:Investment Management
Date: Title: Custody of Your Investment Assets
SEC-registered investment advisers who have custody of their clients’ funds or securities must safeguard those funds as required by the SEC’s “custody rule.” The custody rule is designed to provide additional safeguards for investors against the possibility of theft or misappropriation by investment advisers who are registered with the SEC. Despite the protections offered by the custody rule, investors still need to be proactive in ensuring the safety of their investments.
Category:Investment Management
Date: Title: Hedge Funds (PDF)
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy is issuing this Investor Bulletin to educate individual investors about hedge funds.
Category:Investment Management
Date: Title: Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) (PDF)
This Investor Bulletin discusses only ETFs that are registered as open-end investment companies or unit investment trusts under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (the “1940 Act”). It does not address other types of exchange-traded products that are not registered under the 1940 Act, such as exchange traded commodity funds or exchange-traded notes.
Category:Investment Management
Date: Title: Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) (PDF)
Real estate investment trusts (“REITs”) have been around for more than fifty years. Congress established REITs in 1960 to allow individual investors to invest in large-scale, income-producing real estate. REITs provide a way for individual investors to earn a share of the income produced through commercial real estate ownership – without actually having to go out and buy commercial real estate.
Category:Corporation Finance
Investment Management
Date: Title: Transition of Mid-Sized Investment Advisers from Federal to State Registration (PDF)
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy is issuing this Investor Bulletin to make investors aware of upcoming changes in the registration rules for some investment advisers.
Category:Investment Management
Date: Title: Money Market Funds: Staff Responses to Questions about Information Filed on Form N-MFP
Category:Investment Management
Date: Title: New Rule to Curb “Pay to Play” Practices
The Securities and Exchange Commission approved a new rule on June 30, 2010 to curbso-called “pay to play” practices in which investment advisers make campaign contributions to elected officials in order to influence the award of contracts to manage public pension plan assets and other government investment accounts.
Category:Investment Management
Date: Title: Target Date Retirement Funds
Investing for retirement can be complex. When deciding where to invest, you may need to make a variety of decisions, including how to balance the risk of losing money with the desire to increase your returns, keeping in mind that inflation may reduce the purchasing power of your savings and you or your spouse or partner may live longer in retirement than you expect. Recognizing this, a number of companies offer “target date retirement funds,” sometimes referred to as “target date funds” or “lifecycle funds.”
Category:Investment Management
Date: Title: SEC-FINRA Investor Alert on Leveraged and Inverse ETFs
The SEC staff and FINRA are issuing this Alert because we believe individual investors may be confused about the performance objectives of leveraged and inverse exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
Category:Investment Management
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