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Finance Dictionary and Glossary of Investment Terms
Securities and Exchange Commission
SEC. The primary federal regulatory agency for the securities industry, whose responsibility is to promote full disclosure and to protect investors against fraudulent and manipulative practices in the securities markets. The securities and Exchange Commission enforces, among other acts, the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Trust Indenture Act of 1939, the Investment Company Act of 1940 and the Investment Advisers Act. The supervision of dealers is delegated to the self-regulatory bodies of the exchanges. The securities and Exchange Commission is an independent, quasi-judiciary agency. It has five commissioners, each appointed for a five year term that is staggered so that one new commissioner is being replaced every year. No more than three members of the commission can be of a single political party. The securities and Exchange Commission is comprised of four basic divisions. The Division of Corporate Finance is in charge of making sure all publicly traded companies disclose the required financial information to investors. The Division of Market Regulation oversees all legislation involving brokers and brokerage firms. The Division of Investment Management regulates the mutual fund and investment advisor industries. And the Division of Enforcement enforces the securities legislation and investigates possible violations.