July 1, 2009
The custody rule under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, Rule 206(4)-2 should NOT be changed to include custody in the case where the investment manager has the ability to take management fees from client accounts. We deal with TD Ameritrade and they already have limits built into their system to avoid fees that are more than 3% of the client's account. The clients prefer having their fees deducted from their accounts rather than being billed directly and they have given approval on their account applications to have their fees deducted--they have the choice to request it it is not a mandate to open the account. All of our current clients have requested to have the fees deducted directly. We send letters to our clients identifying the fee and how it was calculated. The clients receive their monthly statements from TD Ameritrade directly and they can see the fee that was deducted for the quarter and they can very easily compare it to the letter we have sent. There are already checks and balances here. Things are working fine, do not mess it up and burden the client with additional cost for surprise audits that will have to be passed on in their management fees. You are supposed to be helping the client not making it worse for them! If all brokers have limits on management fees like TD Ameritrade does, this should not even be an issue. The correct way to go on this issue would be to look at making those brokers who currently don't have such controls implement them, instead of hindering all investment clients and investment advisors whose management fees processes are working just fine.
Thank you for your time in reviewing my comments.
Lona I. Landauer
Certified Financial Planner/Enrolled Agent