Corporate reports can provide important information for investors by, for example, telling you whether a company is making money or losing money and why. You'll find this information in the company's quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, annual reports on Form 10-K, and periodic reports of significant events on Form 8-K.
It's usually easy to find information about publicly reporting companies from the companies themselves, newspapers, brokerage firms, and the SEC. By contrast, it can be extremely difficult to find information about privately held companies.
To invest wisely and avoid investment scams, research each investment opportunity thoroughly and ask questions.
You can get corporate reports from the following sources:
- The SEC: You can find out whether a company files by using the SEC's database known as EDGAR.
- The company: Ask the company if it is registered with the SEC and files reports with us. That information may be listed on its website. Check out new or smaller companies thoroughly because many frauds involve these types of companies. Visit our pages on Internet and social media fraud and microcap fund for valuable information.
- Other government regulators: Many banks do not have to file reports with the SEC, but file with banking regulators. Visit their web sites: Federal Reserve System's National Information Center of Banking Information, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, or the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
Other Types of Information
To find out whether a company has been cleared to sell its securities in a particular state in the case of a privately held company, and whether any company is in good standing, you can contact the following:
- Your state securities regulator Contact the North American Securities Administrators Association to get the name and phone number of your state securities regulator to see if the company has been cleared to sell securities in your state and to find out about the people behind the company.
- The Secretary of State where the company is incorporated You can find out whether the company is a corporation in good standing and has filed annual reports with the state generally through the secretary of state where the company is incorporated. Check the National Association of Secretaries of State's web site for a list of most secretaries of state.
If you have questions about what happens when a company declares bankruptcy, you can get information from our brochure on bankruptcy.