SECURITIES INFORMATION ON THE INTERNET
The Internet offers a storehouse of information from securities regulators, issuers, and markets. The activities of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and virtually all other significant legislative and regulatory bodies are accessible on the Internet. In addition, the SEC makes available all issuer filings, creating a vast database of company information. There are also numerous free sites that serve as information repositories on issuers, and individual companies typically have their own investor relations Web site that contains their securities filings.
What follows is a brief guide to finding different types of securities information on the Internet. The guide is arranged by category of information.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Laws, Rules and Regulatory Matters
The federal agency charged with administration of the federal securities laws, the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, offers a wealth of administrative materials relating to its rulemaking and enforcement functions. Copies of rule proposals, adopting releases, litigation releases, and SEC reports can all be found at this site. A useful daily summary of SEC's administrative business can be found in the SEC News Digest.
State Securities Law
The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) is a voluntary organization of state and regional securities administrators.
Self-Regulatory Organizations/ExchangesThe Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) was created in 2007 from the merger of the NASD with some functions of the NYSE. FINRA has federal authority to enforce its rules and regulations on firms and individuals in the U.S. securities industry.
Many exchanges, both domestic and foreign, can be found on the Web. The principal domestic securities markets are:
Legislative SourcesA. Statutes and regulations
Other Financial Regulatory Departments or Agencies
Securities Industry Trade Associations
A number of trade associations in the securities industry maintain Web sites that provide commentary on developments affecting the industry.
Securities Class Action Clearinghouse. Stanford Law School maintains this site, which contains useful data about securities class actions as well as selected legal documents filed in the case.
Issuer/Reporting Company Information
The Securities and Exchange Commission has a mandatory system of electronic filing for registration of public offerings and virtually all filings required of reporting companies. The system, named EDGAR (Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval) is accessible on the Internet.
Private vendors offer access to the EDGAR database in slightly more user friendly forms. These include:
Initial Public Offerings
The recent interest in initial public offerings of equity has spawned Web sites or sections of Web sites devoted to news about initial public offerings as well as related securities filings. These include:
Securities Information Warehouses
There are many sites that attempt to catalog securities information on the Internet. Most of these sites also have information and links to late breaking news and in-depth analysis.
For More Information
Of course, more information is being added daily to the amount of material on the Web. To find this information, either check the warehouses above or use the various search engines on the Internet. Some search engines, Google, Teoma, Yahoo, etc., not only allow you to search their databases but also attempt to catalog the Internet into categories. Therefore, you can either try to search for "stock exchanges" (for example) on the main page, or go through individual subject headings (such as Business and Economy; Markets and Investments; Stocks; Stocks Exchanges). In addition, a number of broker-dealers and mutual fund families maintain Web sites with investor education sections. These sites frequently serve as good primers for persons without any background.
Last updated: January 19, 2008.
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