May 19, 2010
I am an individual investor. I find these proposed measures are largely unnecessary, considering the market quickly rebounded after the "flash crash" the other week. If someone wants to sell me stock in Accenture at a penny a share or Procter Gamble at a price not seen since like the early 2000s, I say let them The market is self-correcting for that reason. As I had blinked that day (it only happened within the space of like 10-15 minutes), I missed out on buying at those generously low prices but my dad and I did buy a good amount of stock (in other companies) the subsequent day, so we're confident in what we're doing and figure we don't need any rules that claim to "protect" investors when in fact they serve to keep stocks overpriced with a false sense of price stability to enrich company managements, as well as help IPOs in coming public at lofty valuations to rip off investors who apparently have more enthusiasm than brains.
The so-called "uptick rule" on short-selling was a lot better than these ideas proposed by the SEC in recent years. Stopping a stock from falling more than 10% is like skipping school to avoid a birthday beat-down, as I have thought since I saw such proposals. Plus I always wonder why the SEC never seems to protect investors by keeping stocks from suddenly going ridiculously high (or usually suddenly surging on what obviously must be insider information), like what we saw with Sybase the other day before the deal with SAP was announced just after the market closed.. Clearly some sellers who had limit orders set for the day got stopped out of those profits they would have had, had other market participants not been allowed to act on that insider information.
As a Level II candidate in the CFA Program, I understand the importance of protecting the integrity of the financial markets (from market manipulation, insider trading, etc.), but find it funny that the government has consistently been the biggest market manipulator, as was most painstakingly clear in 2008.
Here's to hoping the SEC at least reads my comments, though, much like company managements who have made up their mind on a course of action, I'm skeptical you will listen to me or anyone else who disagrees with your stance. Plus, as others have said, the SEC shouldn't be rushing to pass new rules when they still don't know what caused the crash, so logically the proposed solution can't possibly fix an unknown cause.