August 19, 2018

Using The SEC Filings Edgar Database In Your Investment Research

Using The SEC Filings Edgar Database In Your Investment Research

One of the mission statements of the Securities Exchange Commission or SEC is to facilitate capital information. In other words to make companies who trade stocks and securities on the open market disclose certain information such as location of the company, ownership or leadership of the company and financial records of the company. For this purpose the SEC Filings EDGAR Database was created.

Sec Filings Edgar

This gathering of information is designed to give investors the knowledge needed to make a wise or at least informed investment into the companies. With that in mind the EDGAR system was put into place as a public access repository of all the data collected.

The SEC’s EDGAR system is totally free to use in the course of your investment research. This article will introduce you to a few basics of how to use the EDGAR database.

The EDGAR system or Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis and Retrieval system allows you to research based the information of a company via registration statements, prospectuses, periodic reports, forms 10-Q and Form 10-K as well as recent corporate events. There are also comment and response letters that relate to disclosure filings that were made after August of 2004.

It is strongly suggested that before using the EDGAR system you take a few minutes to review the EDGAR tutorial to learn how to use the different search options and what their limitations may be. The information is simply too involved to be effectively included here.

Once you have located the SEC filings for the company you are interested in you will need to understand how to read it. This section of our article will identify some of the more commonly requested research information and what document the information is likely to be found on.

Financial information

There are four documents which will aid in your search to understand a particular companies financial information:

Form 10-K will contain the audited financial statements of the company

Form 10-Q will contain the unaudited quarterly statements

Form 8-K will include the current information which includes the preliminary earnings

The registration statements including Forms S-1 and F-6

Executive Compensation

Under the SEC you can even find information on the executive compensation policies and practices of the company. This information is located on

Schedule 14A which is the annual proxy statement

Form 10-K the audited annual report

Form 8-K current information on the company which includes the preliminary earnings

The registration statements

Insider Transactions and Beneficial Ownership Interest

Any company officers with 10% or higher of the company’s equity must file statements of ownership with the SEC regarding the securities. The forms that must be filed are

Form 2 the initial statement of ownership

Form 4 is a statement of any changes in ownership

Form 5 is the annual statement of any changes

The above is just a small sampling of the information that can be accessed via the SEC filings EDGAR system to make your investment research go that much more smoothly. The data base itself even has plenty of tutorials built in to explain the information on each form, what each form is for and how to interpret the data therein.

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Using The Edgar Database To Find Sec Filings

For those who are interested in investing in the stock exchange markets one of the first things you need to know is how to do the research necessary to choose a winning stock. A good place to start are EDGAR SEC Filings.

Edgar Sec Filings

We know some folks just throw a dart at a list or listen to a stock market guru of some sort but neither of those is recommended for the serious investor. Sure, your broker better know what he is talking about but shouldn’t you also know what he is talking about?

While throwing a dart at a list of companies may be a fun way to choose between investment opportunities it is not really recommended unless of course you want to lose your money. To make wise and winning investments there are things that you should know about the companies you are considering.

With that in mind you should take a short trip over to the SEC or Securities Exchange Commission website and introduce yourself to EDGAR.

The SEC and its filings were created as a direct result of the stock market crash in 1929 to develop the trust needed to allow investors to once again be free to invest in the many businesses on which our economy operates. With that in mind the SEC requires certain information to become public knowledge about any company that will be traded. This encourages trust and discourages fraudulent practices.

EDGAR or Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval is the SEC’s data base of documentation. You see by law any company that wishes to trade securities on the open market must file certain public disclosure forms with the SEC. These forms guarantee that investors are able to see certain information about a company including financial records so that the investor can make an informed decision about whether or not investment in that particular company is a good idea.

The majority of the data files with the EDGAR system reach back to 1994 when the computerized data base was put into effect and includes but is not limited to:

Financial Reports

Annual reports: Form 10-K of the system is the amended annual report for the company.

Quarterly reports: Form 10-Q includes information pertaining to a company’s quarterly reports

Other reports: Form 8-K includes press releases and any company announcements

Proxy statements: Both the preliminary and definitive proxy statements including any merger agreements and plans as well as any other items to be put to vote.

Form 4: This is the Statement of Change in Beneficial Ownership report

Form SG 13G: a form which shows a company’s stake in another company

The information to be found on the EDGAR system includes much more information than is listed here. Just about any question you may have about a company you are considering investing in can be answered by looking over the right form.

The SEC Filings EDGAR data base may seem a little difficult to use at first but if you take the time to check out the tutorials you will soon be surfing it like a pro. Just remember that using the EDGAR is free and it is not possible to break it so you can mess around until you get the hang of it all you want.

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