March 1, 2004
To Whom It May Concern,
I have heard of some of the changes that are being considered to the mutual fund industry. Included in that is the idea of elimination of 12B1 fees and disclosures of other fees and possible fees in the future if certain events happen.
If youll permit me a comment on what precipitated these actions, Id like to do so. I understand that this was largely brought about due to Enron and WorldCom. Im confused by the extent to which this is going. I believe that laws need to be in place to protect the public from unscrupulous reps and companies. However, the laws worked to a large degree because after all, Enron was caught. World Com was caught. People are about to serve time or have started serving time due to their crimes.
Unfortunately it is impossible to prevent people from committing a crime BEFORE it is committed. They must, however, be punished when they have been proven guilty of committing the crime, and many are being punished for the crimes. The laws worked
I also believe that documentation is a very important part. Clients dont think about the investments that they make with me on a daily basis. I do. They dont. So they will remember certain things, but not all details of what was talked about and shown to them. I am now instituting my own letter that they will sign saying that they were advised of the letter 0f intent and its meanings and options. It is not being required by my broker/dealer. I do this for my protection because its so easy to not think about a letter of intent when people say they have no intention of adding more money over the next 13 months.
Reform is wonderful, if its meant to solve problems and not just make it appear as though someone is doing something in reaction to recent events. I dont see how restricting my ability to earn a living by making it cumbersome for my clients to try to save for the future or to set themselves up with an income in the present.
At the very least, Id like to see the period extended to review all of the ideas that are being looked at.
I apologize for the length of these comments, but feel its important that the best work be done rather than a reactionary policy being put in place by the legislature wanting to show their constituents that they are doing something even if it wont solve the problems from the past.