Subject: File No. S7-09-04
From: Ryan Wilson, CPA, CFP

April 13, 2004

The proposal to restrict or eliminate the use of 12b-1 fees would hurt the very people that are meant to benefit, the mutual fund investor.

This proposal could eliminate all ongoing compensation that I, as a financial advisor, receive for servicing my clients. Ongoing asset-based fees is how I receive the majority of my compensation.

Investors who deal with any financial advisor do so because they want or need help with their investments. If this proposal passes, my compensation will decline to the point that I may not be able to support my family. If I left this business, my clients, who I have developed relationships with, would then be handed to other financial advisors within my firm. The financial advisors receiving my clients accounts would have no financial incentive to provide them with important ongoing services that include:

  • Monitoring of the clients mutual funds by examining asset allocation, sector allocation, company overlap, etc.
  • Informing the client of a lead portfolio manager change within a clients mutual fund.
  • Periodic reviewing of the clients financial plan.
  • Answering the clients financial planning questions to help the client meets his or her goals.

As a result, the individual mutual fund investor, the party that this proposal is geared to benefit, will likely be the party that is most negatively affected.

Without ongoing compensation, financial advisors could become nothing more than mutual fund salespeople. As a result, the incentive for the financial advisor would be the short-term benefit in the form of an upfront sales charge with no financial incentive to see that their clients achieve their long-tem goals.

I do not understand how financial advisors can be expected to provide advice and service to their clients without receiving any ongoing compensation. With so many jobs uncontrollably leaving our country, it would be a shame for us to support a proposal that would not only hurt mutual fund investors that need help, but would also proactively eliminate jobs.

I ask that this proposal be corrected so that it truly does what is intended. To protect the individual mutual fund investor.

Yours truly,

Ryan W. Wilson, CPA, CFP