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Where can I find regulatory filings on the web for Canadian companies and mutual funds?

You can get this information by visiting the SEDAR site at www.sedar.com. SEDAR stands for System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval. The Canadian Securities Administrators - -the umbrella organization of Canada's provincial securities commissions -- have told public companies and mutual funds that they must send their regulatory filings to this site. This means you have access to disclosure documents like financial statements, prospectuses, annual reports and annual information forms at one web site.

These documents are a wealth of free information about stocks, mutual funds and other securities. Learn about the risks of these investments, and what the costs are, by reading this information before you consider buying. You'll also find news releases that have been issued by the companies and mutual funds. Before thinking of buying a company's stock or a mutual fund's units, make sure you check certain things that likely won't be available on the SEDAR site. You will want to know the current and recent share or unit price of the stock or fund, and the earnings history. This information is available at various web sites, including The Globe and Mail's Globe Investor at www.globeinvestor.com. To find out about a particular company, you can do a search on SEDAR for all the documents filed by the company. You may only want to look at its latest prospectus. You can confine your search to that type of document or you can do a search for all documents filed by that company for a time period that you set. Companies are also listed by letter of the alphabet. If you want to look up, Shaw Communications look under "S". You may want to research companies in the broadcasting industry. SEDAR organizes companies under 68 industry categories. Click on "broadcasting" and then do searches of all the public companies in that one industry. Decide what type of documents you want, and tailor your search accordingly. Industry information is available at other web sites; of course, including Industry Canada's at www.strategis.ic.gc.ca. This site has a host of statistical information on various industries, including comparisons with the particular industry's U.S. counterpart. It has details on employment and production, trade and identifies the major industry player. The site includes an overview on different industries. The latest news on particular Canadian industries is available at sites such as Advice for Investors at www.adviceforinvestors.com. Mutual funds have their own section on the SEDAR site. You can search by fund company, time period, and by type of report. Most documents on SEDAR can be read only if you have software called an Adobe Acrobat reader. You can download that software from the company's web site at www.adobe.com. Some of the documents on SEDAR are hundreds of pages long. You don't have to wade through every page. Instead, check the table of contents at the start of the document to find the sections that interest you. Jot down the page numbers and then use the Adobe page-count feature on the lower left of your screen to skip ahead to the pages you want to check. There's an easy way to look for particular words or phrases. this: use the "binoculars" icon on the toolbar at the top of your Adobe screen. Just click on the icon and type in the word or phrase. Then let the computer search the document for you. For regulatory filings of U.S. companies and mutual funds, check SEDAR's American equivalent at the Edgar Web site, www.edgar-online.com.