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It is getting easier for small-time investors to purchase stocks in the United States. Whether you are a small investor or a large investor, you are covered by federal securities laws. There are many important federal securities laws that govern all aspects of securities trading. There are also regulatory agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission that issue regulations and investigate and make decisions regarding violations of security law. Securities laws protect stockholders by holding stock issuers to stringent standards. For example, one of the most often used securities laws is known as Rule 10b-5 of the Securities Exchange Act. Rule 10b-5 prevents fraud and things like insider trading, market manipulations, fraud in dealing with purchasers of stock and fraud in connection with public offerings or corporate takeovers. As an ordinary purchaser of public stock, you do not have access to a full and complete picture of a company, therefore, the laws require that the company be honest and fair in the sale of securities. This policy makes sense for you as an individual stockholder and for the economic well-being of the country as a whole.