October 7, 2018
OVERALL INVESTOR EXPERIENCE
1. How do you pick funds? What information do you want to know when you make an investment in a fund? What publications or websites do you review? What tools, online or otherwise, do you use? Do you look at the SECs website?
I find some of the information in bond or loan funds, either closed end or open end, to be inadequate. For example, under current reporting, bonds or loans in default are signaled by a small or some other symbol as described in the footnotes. The reader then has to run through the whole portfolio and add up the number and value of bad loans. A far better requirement would be for management of the fund to disclose in their letter the number and value of loans in default and to what extent those loans have been written down and/or reserved for losses.
2. Do you read current fund disclosure documents? Do you understand them? Is there information you do not receive from the fund that you would like to get?
See item 1
3. How well do current fund disclosures (such as a summary prospectus, prospectus, or shareholder report) help you pick an investment? Is it easy to compare different funds? Are there technology-based tools that could make fund comparisons easier? What helpful features do those tools have?
4. Do you use the advice of a financial professional? Does a financial professional's help affect whether and how you use fund disclosures?
5. How do you prefer to receive communications about fund investments? For example, do you prefer mail delivery, email, website availability, mobile applications, or a combination?
6. What types of fund information do you prefer to access electronically? What types of fund information do you prefer to receive in paper? Are there other wayssuch as by video or audio, you would like to receive fund information?
Bulky items such as annual reports or prospectuses are easier to read in paper format.
7. How can the SEC better use technology and communication tools to help investors focus on important fund information?
8. Is there too much technical writing in fund disclosure? Would you prefer more tables, charts, and graphs? Would these graphic displayes be in addition to, or in place of, text-heavy disclosures?
9. Do you prefer to receive shorter 'Summary' disclosures, with additional information available online or upon request?
10. Should fund disclosures be more personalized? For example, should disclosures show the amount of fees you paid or your actual investment returns? If so, how?
11. Do fund disclosures make the fund's strategies and the level of risk clear? How can funds improve these disclosures? Would a risk rating, such as a numerical or graphical measure of risk, be helpful?
12. Fund fees and expenses can significantly affect a fund's investment returns over time. Do you think funds clearly disclose their fees and expenses? How could funds improve the disclosure of fees and expenses? Would a comparison of your funds fees against other funds fees help?
13. Do you consider the past performance of a fund when making an investment decision? How could we improve the presentation of performance information?
14. Aside from this questionnaire, are there other ways the SEC can engage with investors, like you, on key topics? Is there anything else you would like to tell us?