August 31, 2010
I want to congratulate you on full disclosure of fees for investors in regards to 12b-1 fees. I believe this is an important step in helping the investing public determine what is being charged in regards to their mutual fund investments.
I do believe, however, that the Commission has gone too far in their recommendations regarding rule 12b-1. One area is on the "capping" of the 12b-1 fees paid to reps on C-shares. I believe that this service fee allows reps to service smaller clients who would otherwise be unable to receive quality advice. In addition, no-cost or low-cost funds are already available without the investment advice at places like Janus and Vanguard. Do-it-yourself investors have the option to pay less or not at all. This option has been around and is available if desired. Folks who would like advice know they are paying for it, and with the new fee disclosure, will be aware of what they are paying. If they wish to liquidate their funds and go elsewhere, they may do so. Additionally, advisors will have incentive to use no-load variable annuities, or worse, fully loaded VAs in situations where they might not be appropriate due to these rules.
I believe the Commission is serious about helping clients. As advisors, we are too. Please reconsider the "capping" of 12b-1 fees so we can continue to offer the highest quality service to all of our clients.
R.B. Clark, III