Securities Act Of 1933

DEFINITION of 'Securities Act Of 1933'

A federal piece of legislation enacted as a result of the market crash of 1929. The legislation had two main goals: (1) to ensure more transparency in financial statements so investors can make informed decisions about investments, and (2) to establish laws against misrepresentation and fraudulent activities in the securities markets.

BREAKING DOWN 'Securities Act Of 1933'

The Securities Act of 1933 was the first major piece of federal legislation regarding the sale of securities. Prior to this legislation, the sale of securities was primarily governed by state laws; however, the market crash of 1929 raised some serious questions about the effectiveness of how the markets were being governed. Because of the turmoil surrounding the investing community at this time, the federal government had to bring back stability and investor confidence in the overall system.

In general, the legislation was enacted as the need for more information within and about the securities markets was acknowledged. The legislation addressed the need for better disclosure by requiring companies to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Registration ensures companies provide the SEC and potential investors with all relevant information by means of the prospectus and registration statement.

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