For investors looking to capitalize on simple financial products such as public equity or debt securities, broker-dealers offer publicly available research reports on such products, and under current SEC regulations, such reports do not constitute public offerings. However, if similarly-situated investors seek similar information more complex financial products such as ETFs, Mutual Funds, Registered closed-ended funds or BDCs, such publicly available research reports are not avalable, at least not yet. On May 23, 2018, in furtherance of the mandate of the FAIR Act, the SEC proposed harmonizing the treatment of research reports by broker-dealers on the foregoing complex financial products with those currently in place for simple public equity and debt instruments. According to the SEC, "[t]he proposed changes are intended to provide investors with greater access to research to aid them in making investment decisions." For more information, see https://www.sec.gov/news/press-release/2018-92.
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