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: 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 Bulletin: Variable Annuities – An Introduction (PDF)
This SEC Office of Investor Education and Advocacy Investor Bulletin provides some basic facts about variable annuities and how they work. Variable annuities are complex products, and this Investor Bulletin focuses solely on the basics.
Category:Investment Management
Investor Education and Advocacy
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 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: Accredited Investors (PDF)
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy is issuing this Investor Bulletin to educate individual investors about what it means to be an “accredited investor.”
Category:Corporation Finance
Investment Management
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: 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: 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: Indexed Annuities
An indexed annuity is a type of contract between you and an insurance company. During the accumulation period – when you make either a lump sum payment or a series of payments – the insurance company credits you with a return that is based on changes in a securities index, such as the S&P 500 Composite Stock Price Index. Indexed annuity contracts also provide that the contract value will be no less than a specified minimum, regardless of index performance. After the accumulation period, the insurance company will make periodic payments to you under the terms of your contract, unless you choose to receive your contract value in a lump sum.
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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