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Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC): History; Major Laws that Govern the SEC Industry; Valuable information on the SEC's website (; and Selected Legislative History Materials

History of the SEC & Securities Regulation

Early in the 20th century - there were no Federal Securities Regulations

Stock Market Crash of 1929 (via Investopedia's explanation)

File:1929 wall street crash graph-fr.svg - Wikimedia Commons 






Federal Securities Laws enacted

  • Securities Act of 1933
  • Securities Exchange Act of 1934

Major Securities Law - 1933 Act

Securities Act of 1933 

  • Known as the "Truth in Securities" Law
  • Provides investors w/material information concerning Securities offered for public sale
  • Purpose - to prevent misrepresentation, deceit and fraud in the sale of securities
  • Prohibits any security from being offered or sold to the public unless it is registered w/the SEC

1933 Act - SEC Form Types

U.S. Issuer

  • S-1  (Initial offering (IPO))
  • S-3  (Follow-on offering)
  • S-4  (Merger or Exchange Offer)
  • 424B  (Final Prospectus)

Non-US Issuer

  • F-1  (Initial offering by Non-US issuer)
  • F-3  (Non-US Follow-on) 
  • F-4  (Non-US Merger/Exchange)
  • 424B  (Final Prospectus)

Major Securities Law - 1934 Act

Securities Exchange Act of 1934

  • Regulates secondary trading of securities
  • Established the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC)
    • regulation, enforcement of securities laws
  • Requires access, by the public, to current financials & other pertinent company information on a regular basis
  • Regulates corporate reporting, proxy solicitation, takeover bids, tender offers and insider trading


Public Companies - must file annual & add'l periodic reports to update information contained in their original filings - these reports are filed at the SEC and sent to shareholders upon request (they are then often posted on company websites):

Per the 1934 Securities Act - SEC Form Types (periodic reporting) - some examples follow:

  • 10-K 
    • an Annual Report that companies file with the SEC
    • Must be filed within 60-90 days after the end of the fiscal year, depending on size of company
    • Gives a summary of company's past, present & future activities & audited financial reports
    • Principal executive officer & financial officer much certify each 10K & 10Q pursuant to Sarbanes Oxley 
  • 10-Q
    • is a Quarterly Filing that updates the information in the 10-K
  • 8-K
    • is a Filing make by the company when an extraordinary event has taken place