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An exempt transaction is one that doesn't have to meet the registration requirements of the Uniformed Securities Act or the SEC. The idea here is that every transaction creates a lot of paperwork and there are some cases where all that hassle is not needed. As long as you're trading small amounts of stocks or investments and your transaction is considered exempt, there's less paperwork.
That's worth celebrating.
Unsolicited transactions, fiduciary transactions, transactions with financial institutions, private placements, and isolated non-issuer transactions.
So if Uncle Ned passes on and leaves you a bunch of stock in his will and those stocks are sold to create moolah for you, it's is usually an exempt transaction (a fiduciary transaction, FYI). Or let's say you have a fancy job with stock options and you decide to sell back some of your company stock. As long as you are not an executive, it's probably an exempt transaction.