December 11, 2017

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.

Find more information,visit http://www.sec.gov/edgar.shtml