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Financial Regulatory Agencies

Resources | Financial Regulatory Agencies


The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is the largest independent regulator for all securities firms doing business in the United States. FINRA’s mission is to protect America’s investors by making sure the securities industry operates fairly and honestly. All told, FINRA oversees about 4,345 brokerage firms, about 163,410 branch offices and approximately 635,145 registered securities representatives. FINRA has approximately 3,300 employees and operates from Washington, DC, and New York, NY, with 20 regional offices around the country. FINRA is dedicated to investor protection and market integrity through effective and efficient regulation of the securities industry. Read more »


As the largest and fastest growing electronic stock market in the world, NASDAQ is home to the world’s leading companies—and a well-recognized household name. In a recent U.S. poll, NASDAQ was #1 in awareness and name recognition among investors. Building on a reputation for innovative technology and worldwide growth, the NASDAQ brand is recognized worldwide. Read more »


NYSE Euronext (NYX), is a leading global operator of financial markets and a provider of innovative trading technologies, is the only exchange operator in the Fortune 500. With exchanges in the US and Europe, NYSE Euronext equities marketplaces represent one-third of equities trading worldwide. NYSE Euronext is also one of the world’s leading futures and options trading venues, with four markets based in the US and Europe offering derivatives on commodities, FX, equities, bonds, interest rates, indices and swaps. Its commercial technology division, NYSE Technologies provides best-in-class transaction, data, and infrastructure management services and solutions. Read more »


The mission of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is to protect investors, maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets, and facilitate capital formation. As more and more first-time investors turn to the markets to help secure their futures, pay for homes, and send children to college, our investor protection mission is more compelling than ever.

As our nation’s securities exchanges mature into global for-profit competitors, there is even greater need for sound market regulation. And the common interest of all Americans in a growing economy that produces jobs, improves our standard of living, and protects the value of our savings means that all of the SEC’s actions must be taken with an eye toward promoting the capital formation that is necessary to sustain economic growth.

The world of investing is fascinating and complex, and it can be very fruitful. But unlike the banking world, where deposits are guaranteed by the federal government, stocks, bonds and other securities can lose value. There are no guarantees. That’s why investing is not a spectator sport. By far the best way for investors to protect the money they put into the securities markets is to do research and ask questions.

The laws and rules that govern the securities industry in the United States derive from a simple and straightforward concept: all investors, whether large institutions or private individuals, should have access to certain basic facts about an investment prior to buying it, and so long as they hold it. To achieve this, the SEC requires public companies to disclose meaningful financial and other information to the public. This provides a common pool of knowledge for all investors to use to judge for themselves whether to buy, sell, or hold a particular security. Only through the steady flow of timely, comprehensive, and accurate information can people make sound investment decisions. Read more »