Securities Fraud Lawyers


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A security is an investment instrument, other than an insurance policy or fixed annuity, issued by a corporation, government, or other organization which offers evidence of debt or equity. Securities include stocks and bonds, as well as derivatives like futures contracts, mutual funds or options.< /p>

Securities can be made up of debt. Debt securities are generally issued for a fixed term and redeemable by the issuer at the end of that term. Corporate and government bonds are examples of debt securities. The holder of a debt security is typically entitled to the payment of principal and interest, together with other contractual rights under the terms of the issue.

Debt securities may be protected by collateral or may be unsecured, and, if they are unsecured, may be contractually "senior" to other unsecured debt meaning their holders would have a priority in a bankruptcy of the issuer. Debt that is not senior is "subordinated".

Securities can also be made up of equities, which gives a shareholder ownership in an entity, such as a corporation. Equity holders have the right to share in the profits and capital gains of the entity. Equity holders are also entitled to a portion of control over the entity, commiserate to the number of shares they own.

Hybrid securities share characteristics of both debt and equity. Such securities may include equity warrants, convertibles and preference shares.

Securities are sold on primary and secondary markets. In the primary market, the money for the securities is received by the issuer of those securities from investors. The secondary market allows securities to be sold from one investor to the other. Most securities are sold on exchanges, such as the New York Stock Exchange.

In the U.S., most securities are regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and various state entities. There are also quasi-governmental organizations 'self regulatory organizations' (SRO's) such as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

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