October 20, 2010
In regards to changing the current 12-b1 rule. this would impose tremendous financial strain on the income and livelihood of many brokers. Especially older brokers with an established client base that requires a great amount of personal care and attention in handling the day to day activities of managing the clients account and portfolios. The current 12-b1 structure provides an income stream to help offset business expense and the cost of service for clients.
The elimination of the 12-b1 fees could also have a negative affect on the clients portfolio, by causing aggressive brokers to churn accounts in order to create revenue. This could create unnecessary selling and consequent buying of securities in order to generate a commission.
I believe two of the single most important things for congress and the senate to accomplish this year would be:
1) Reinstate the UPTICK RULE, to reign in and control the short sellers and the widespread trading programs.This would help in eliminating the `PHANTON SHORT TRADES" and hopefully minimize some of the enormous trading volumn, such as what occured during the infamous "FLASH CRASH" that occurred this past year. This would go along way in helping to stabilize the markets and potentially minimize volatillity.
2) Rein in the "HEDGE FUNDS" which it appears were the majot culprits in the huge market selloff of 2008 to 2009. Due to their size and the fact that there is very little scrutinization or regulations imposed on these "Megabuck" hedge funds, and the sheer size of some of these funds is overwhelming. This was obvious in the financial and banking crisis of 2008 and 2009, where the constant selling pressure brought about by the "SHORT SELLING TRADING PROGRAMS" overwhelmed the hedge funds and created the unenviable and eventual sell off of hedge funds unwinding their margin positions. Either limit the size of the hedge funds, or raise the margin interest cost, or minimize the aount of margin that a fund could hold, for example up to 30%.
It is my understanding that the tremedous loss of wealth experienced during the market turbulence of 2008 and 2009 was not due to selling pressure brought to bear on the market from the individual sellers, "Mr.& Mrs Clients" or the Mutal Fund Industry as a whole. But this tremendous selloff was created and compouned due to the enormous amount of selling from the hedge funds and escalated by the Short Selling Programs.
The sheer size and eventual volatillity created by these so called Hedge Funds, nearly ruined our Banking and Financial system. The tremendous loss of wealth and value also contributed to the economic recession we are now experiencing. Due to the loss of assets and purchasing power many clients have reined in their current spending and reduced or postponed many of their future plans orgoals. This also has added to our weak economy, I have had many of my retired or near retired clients tell me they have put off taking a trip or making a large purchase, such as a car or boat do to the poor economy. In addition with interest rates a record lows people don`t have the discretionary income they had just a few years ago.
The last two major market meltdowns of 2002-2003 and 2008-2009, both of which occured after the `UPTICK RULE" was eliminated and trading programs became prolific, have erased billions of net worth for clients and devastated pension and retirement accounts, 401-K`s and Ira`s.
It`s not the cost of the 12-b1 fee that has turned the markets and the economy upside down, this is a drop in the bucket conpared to the devastation that has been imposed on the markets by the Hedge Funds and the Short Selling Trading Program .
Thank you for your upmost consideration to this issue.
MR Emmett Brady
BERTHEL FISHER & CO