February 10, 2004
In general, I find the forms to be useful. In addition, I would suggest that you have the fund company display the costs of purchase or sale and on-going maintenance as a percentage of a given funds historical investment performance. This is a much more graphic and easily understood measure. Mutual fund complexes should be required to display returns BOTH gross and net of ALL fees, costs, expenses, commissions, soft dollars etc. Let the investor make his/her own informed decision. I think the customer should be required to sign something showing that he/she was given the disclosures prior to purchase or at time of purchase and understands the costs.
While youre at it, ban soft dollars entirely. Let the investment houses pay for their research.
Do not let the investment community tell you that these things cannot be done. Nonsense. If we can put two rovers on Mars, we can make accurate disclosures.
When are you going to look at the costs of buying insurance products? I dont think anyone understands those costs.