May 12, 2008
This is in response to the Securities and Exchange Commission's request for comments of the Proposed Amendments to Form ADV Part 2.
While I and our firm have had a positive response to the SEC's desire to adjust the format of the Form ADV Part 2 with a more clear, current, and meaningful disclosure of the business practices, conflicts of interest, and background of the investment adviser and its advisory personnel we would like to make comments on issues we foresee.
1. In marketing to retail clients for 23 years I have found that it is not at all clear what is understandable and want is not understandable to the retail client. We who work within the industry are so comfortable with the industry nomenclature that it is difficult for us to determine the investing public's understanding. For this reason we suggest that the SEC work with a focus group made up of the investing public to test the daft's effectiveness.
2. The time and cost associated with "Annual Mailings of Part 2", not to mention the effect on the environment, would be prohibitive. We suggest that advisors be required to annually inform clients of their right to obtain a copy of the Brochure (ADV Part 2) and/or access the Brochure and any amendments electronically through the IARD system.
3. The required use of XBRL would be too costly for smaller investment advisory firms, such as ourselves, and of limited benefit to our clients.
4. We believe that a definition of "Frequent Trading" be provided by the SEC. If not we find this requirement overly interpretive.
5. As well a definition of "Substantial Income or Time", without a definition provided by the SEC, is overly interpretive.
Thank you for your consideration of these comments.
William H. McCance, President
Trust Advisory Group, Ltd.