November 2, 2010
My career as an insurance professional and regisetered representavive expands well beyond 30 years, so I believe my comments below are warranted. My market is the educational community primarily K-12 which is very much middle and lower class incomes, when you include all employees.
I support new SEC rule 12b-2 which would continue the 25 bassis points fee that is used to ensure investors received ongoing service and advice, and the use of the terms "marketing and service fees" and "ongoing sales charge" in place of "12b-1 fees" which is sure to improve transparency and disclosure documents.
While the above is warranted, I strongly oppose to the SEC permitting mutual funds to issue a new class of shares at the net asset value that would allow broker-dealers to set their own sales charge and commission amount.
Price based competition sounds good in theory but will come at the expense of needed advice and service for the middle market investors. It will not be feasible for registered representatives to contiune to provide the level of individualized advice and ongoing service that is currently provided as broker dealers lower their salescharges and fees in order to gain market share. This will result in only upper class investors to receive personalized advice.
Investors with smaller fund account balances will be forced to self direct their accounts if they wish to contiunue mutual funds because advisors will not longer be able to afford to spent the time to guide and advise them. A good example of this already occurred when the recent 403b legislation changed which resulted in lowering of fees, I am seeing many teachers not taking advantage of match money available from the school because of advisors who will only work with clients that have a large asset base.
The people the SEC is trying to protect the most are middle and lower market investors and this legislation will hurt them similar to how educators have been hurt by what was intended to be good legislation.
Thank you for looking at my thoughts