What does SEC stand for and why is it important to me?

United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is an agency of the United States federal government. It holds primary responsibility for enforcing the federal securities laws, proposing securities rules, and regulating the securities industry, the nation’s stock and options exchanges, and other activities and organizations, including the electronic securities markets in the United States. The SEC has a three-part mission:

To protect investors
To maintain fair, orderly and efficient markets and
To facilitate capital formation