The following Letter Type M, or variations thereof, was submitted by individuals or entities.
Letter Type M:
Mr. Jonathan G. Katz, Secretary
Re: SEC Proposal on Point of Sale and Confirmation Disclosures
Dear Mr. Katz:
As a financial professional, I am concerned about the potential negative impact that the SEC's proposal on point of sale and confirmation disclosures will have for investors.
As an independent financial advisor, I am able to offer my clients the most appropriate investment vehicles based on an unbiased assessment of their needs. The SEC point of sale disclosure system, as proposed, would have the unintended consequence of substantially limiting the broad universe of mutual funds and variable annuities that I am now able to offer my clients. This consequence could affect dozens of my clients who currently invest in mutual funds.
Furthermore, while cost is an important factor in any investment decision, this proposal misleads investors into believing that the lowest cost product is the most suitable versus encouraging investors to weigh all factors of suitability. Personally speaking, I wouldn't purchase the lowest cost anything myself. I look for overall value. Have the costs been justified in the past relative to past performance? While we all know that past performance is NO guarantee of future performance, it can help to indicate the relative efficiency of a fund, to date. The real point is that costs are but one important factor in considering investments, and clients need to consider much more than costs alone.
I fear that in the end, it will be the individual investor who will ultimately pay the added cost of implementing this proposal, either through increased fees or a limitation in the number of products offered.
The complexity of the proposal runs the risk of further confusing investors. Rather than adopt the current proposal, I would urge the SEC to re-focus its efforts on incorporating important fee information into the prospectus and in turn, creating a more user-friendly prospectus that would better aid investors in their decision making process. This would provide a real benefit to all investors. Thank you for your attention to this very important issue.