July 28, 2009
Elizabeth M. Murphy, Secretary
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
100 F Street, N.E.
Washington, D.C. 20549-1090
Re: SEC Release No. IA-2876; File No. S7-09-09
Custody of Funds or Securities of Clients by Investment Advisors
Dear Ms. Murphy:
Thank you for the opportunity to provide comments regarding the proposed amendments to the custody rule that would subject investment advisers to a surprise audit by an accounting firm.
We are a small business providing Fee-Only Wealth Management Services to approximately 50 clients with assets totaling approximately $75 million under management. We are members of both the Financial Planning Association and NAPFA (the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors) and are a SEC registered investment advisor.
We are strongly opposed to the requirement in the proposed amendments to the custody rule that would subject investment advisers to a surprise audit by an accounting firm. In addition to the fact that the projected incremental cost of $8,000 - $10,000 per year would have a substantial impact on our profitability and our ability to provide services to our customers, we don’t believe that the provisions of this proposed change would accomplish the intended results. We believe given the use of an independent custodian with individual statements directly mailed to the client, in concert with the opportunity for our clients to access their accounts directly from the custodian at any time using the internet, that a surprise audit process would simply significantly increase our costs and not provide additional protection to our clients.
To be clear, we are strong advocates for additional consumer protection and transparency, but this proposed change won’t do that. We would much prefer to support Congress appropriating additional resources to the SEC to hire and train additional examination staff to increase the regular audit cycle of investment advisers; that would have a positive impact.
Thank you for the opportunity to provide comments. We would appreciate your support in opposing the proposed amendments to the custody rule that would subject investment advisers to a surprise audit by an accounting firm.
Allen A. Osgood, CFP®, Chairman & Founder
Allen A. Osgood, Jr., CFP®, President & Chief Compliance Officer
Financial Freedom, LLC