February 22, 2004
I believe each of your proposed forms will aid purchasers of Mutual Funds to better understand the fees that may be charged by brokers and sellers.
At the time I purchased my funds, I was not informed of any charges that might be applied. It may well have been that in my desire to trust my friendly agent that I overlooked any reference to charges. After all, I was purchasing what was clearly labled as NO LOAD FUNDS. There is no such thing. If forms similar to those submitted were required, I would certainly have been better advised and more knowledgeable about my purchase.
The worse thing was the outright misrepresentation made about the funds I purchased. I believed I was buying Mutual Funds. That turned out not to be the case. In a letter to you, signed by the representative of AXA Financial, they stated that I was mistaken about what I purchased and that the funds I purchased were not Mutual Funds. As a result, they were permitted to charge outrageous fees when I was already taking a significant loss in the value of the funds.
Among the requirements on your forms, I see no requirement that the seller be required to classify the funds. There are coded references BBB Equity Fund, etc. but no plain language definition of what these funds are.
The sellers will say that such an explanation is not required since it is in the Prospectus. What a joke. The Prospectus is a document of words strung together in a manner that only the most sophisticated and knowlegable attorney could possibly understand it. Additionally, it is printed in print too small for the more elderly or visually infirmed among us could possibly read.
Since SEC refused to take any action regarding the misrepresentation by the seller of the funds I purchased, I would like to see any possibility of such misrepresentation taking place in the future. I would like to see, in bold print an area where the seller must check a box that simply states what these funds are known as in plain language. Example: THE FUNDS REPRESENTED IN THIS OFFERING ARE OR ARE NOT MUTUAL FUNDS.
Additionally, the term No Load should be prohibited from any advertising or representation made by the sellers of these funds. There is no such thing and funds that have back end loads are punitive to the purchaser. This is never made clear in any presentations I have ever attended. I currently have re-invested in Mutual Funds.
This time, the statement that These are Mutual Funds is clearly made. Additionally, they do not offer No Load Funds. The offer Class A and Class B Funds. The charges are higher for the Class B which are now known as rear end load funds. I would like to see all funds presented in this manner.
Thank you for the opportunity to voice my concerns.