SEC Filings and What Traders Need to Know

The SEC is a regulatory body that protects the securities market and aims to provide transparency between public companies and the public. Companies, investors, or institutions may be required to fill out SEC filings in certain scenarios. There are many types of SEC Filings, and today we’ll break down why you should pay attention, forms you should know, and how to find them. All on your Site! 

About the SEC 

The SEC, short for the Securities and Exchange Commission, is an agency that is responsible for protecting the securities market.  According to the SEC’s website, their mission is “to protect investors; maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets; and facilitate capital formation.” 

The SEC plays a large role in keeping the trust of investors and public companies. Part of this job includes requiring public companies to file documents for a variety of different purposes to help provide transparency with the public. 

These forms are free for the public to view through their EDGAR database, though with limited search capabilities. If you have a Benzinga Pro subscription or trial, you can enable these as a source in your Newsfeed, filter by stocks, and more in real-time. 

Why Pay Attention to SEC Filings 

SEC filings not only help with public trust, but they can also help investors and traders make trading decisions about a given company. Traders can use SEC filings to get an idea of how a company is performing, what their future may look like, get an idea of insider ownership, and more. Different SEC filings offer a lot of data and can give you an idea of what institutions or hedge funds think about a stock or sector. 

Registration Statements 

This is the document that companies file prior to its initial public offering (IPO). It comes in two parts: the prospectus and private filings. These documents include crucial information about the company, including financial statements, legal issues, company management, and more. It is a long, in-depth document.