From: Mrs Lois Anthonisen
Our industry is filled with business coaches advising financial professionals to work only with the wealthy investor. It is well known that to do extremely well, one should serve only +million $ clients. Our firm has chosen to continue serving middle America, and we hope this group will not be left behind because financial advisors like ourselves can no longer be compensated by 12b-l fees, which represent a form of compensation the average investor can afford.
I am writing to express my concerns about the SEC's ongoing review of Rule 12b-1. Our services go far beyond the scope of the investments, and we rely upon the 12b-l fees to offset our costs so that our smaller clients need not be burdened by paying an hourly fee under our investment advisory umbrella.
Middle class Americans need the continuing service, guidance and support that are provided by independent financial advisors to achieve their stated investment goals. 12b-1 fees provide a tax efficient means to support the continuing service which these clients require for successful investing. The benefits of 12b-1 fees are numerous and include:
.Expanding Investor Choice - The multiple share classes made possible by Rule 12b-1 give investors choices by providing them with options in how they pay their financial advisor. The flexibility offered by Rule 12b-1 allows us to tailor a portfolio to our client's specific needs.
.Supporting Financial Literacy - Mutual funds send their investors monthly statements, confirmations, prospectuses, annual reports, and other materials. Financial advisors serve the vital role of educators by helping investors to make sense of these essential materials. 12b-1 fees are the compensation we receive for these efforts.
.Managing Client Expectations - We all know the common mistakes investors make; buying high and selling low, chasing past performance and harboring unrealistic expectations. 12b-1 fees provide us with compensation to manage our client's expectations and protect them from falling into this common investor traps.
.Insuring Small Accounts Receive Service - Investment advisory services for a fee are simply out of the reach of many small account holders. We must have another means of being fairly compensated for servicing these accounts. 12b-1 fees provide the mechanism to insure small investors receive the support and service they need to achieve their financial goals.
.Subsidizing Additional Services - We offer our mutual fund clients a variety of additional services including: consolidated account statements, periodic portfolio review meetings, periodic newsletters, cost basis research, preparation of tax returns, and consulting on other financial decisions. These important services are made possible by the subsidy 12b-1 fees provide.
In conclusion, while it is reasonable to review the investor benefits of 12b-1 fees, it is obvious that the repeal of 12b-1 has the potential to cause great harm to thousands of individual investors who need the support and service of a trained financial advisor. As a result, I urge the SEC to allow Rule 12b-1 to continue to support my efforts to provide needed financial services to middle class American investors pursuing the financial goals.
Mrs Lois Anthonisen