Securities Industry Regulations - Definition of an Investment Company

According to section 3 of the Investment Company Act of 1940, an investment company is any company who is (or proposes to be):

  • primarily in the business of investing, reinvesting or trading in securities;
  • issuing installment-type face-amount certificates.
  • investing, reinvesting, owning, holding, and trading securities; and holds more than 40% of their total value of assets (unconsolidated) in investment securities

Classification of Investment Companies
According to section 4 of the Investment Company Act of 1940, there are three types of investment companies:

  1. Face-Amount Certificate Company- issues installment-type face face-amount certificates.A face amountt certificate as the name implies is designed for the investor to have a set amount of money (face amount) at the maturity date.
  2. Unit Investment Trust (UIT) - created through a trust indenture, contract of custodianship or other similar structures. UITs do not have a board of directors like many companies and issue redeemable securities that do not entitle the holder to voting rights. These securities entitle the holder to a portion of a pool of investment securities. A UIT may be fixed or variable UIT. A fixed UIT will invest in bonds and hold the bonds until maturity at which time the the proceeds will be distributed to ithe investors. A variable UIT will invest in mutual fund shares.
  3. Management Company - any other companies who fit the investment company definition but are not classified as 1 or 2 above. These companies can be closed or open, diversified or non-diversified.
    • primarily in the business of investing, reinvesting or trading in securities;
    • issuing installment-type face-amount certificates.
    • investing, reinvesting, owning, holding, and trading securities; and holds more than 40% of their total value of assets (unconsolidated) in investment securities

According to section 6 of the Investment Company Act of 1940, companies exempt from the Investment Company rules include:

  • Open end management companies distribute and redeem securities it issues. The most common open-end management companies are mutual fund companies which sell and redeem shares at the net asset value per share.
  • Closed end management companies issue a fixed number of shares in an actively managed portfolio of securities. The shares are traded in the market just like common stock.
  • Diversified companies hold a portfolio of money market, government and corporate securities with a value greater than 75% of their total assets, with no more than 5% of their total investment in any security from one issuer. Additionally, the 5% invested with a particular issuer cannot contain more than 10% of that issuers voting securities.
  • Non-diversified companies, are like the name implies, any management company that is not diversified.
Rules and Reporting Requirements for Mutual Funds
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