October 27, 2010
To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing in support of the new SEC Rule 12b-2 which would continue the service fee arrangement on mutual funds which allows advisors such as myself, the where-with-all to provide the service my clientele, which are middle income Americans, at a level they deserve. I have been a licensed insurance agent for over 25-years and a registered representative for about half that time and am acutely aware of the increasing cost of doing business today. This proposal to replace the phrase "12b-1 fees" with "marketing and service fees" would promote transparency in disclosure documents and remove some consumer skepticism about what these fees are for.
However, I strongly object to the proposal of allowing mutual fund companies the option of offering a new share class that would be offered at Net Asset Value (NAV) allowing broker-dealers the opportunity to set their own sales charges and commission amounts. I believe the unintended consequence of this action would hurt the middle-income Americans that comprise my client base because this class of shares would not be able to be offered through all broker dealers and therefore force consumers to fee based planners which traditionally service the more upscale market and ignore the middle income investor. Further, this would create another level of opportunity for unscrupulous marketing practices which could pit various broker dealers against each other to compete on a volume basis as opposed to a service based format. This proposal could dramatically change the face of the investment industry allowing the larger clients opportunities that the small investor may not have access to. This is a form of discrimination against the small investor that is ill advised. It has been proven time and again that the small investor may actually need more guidance investing than the sophisticated investors and a NAV product like this would only be attractive to larger investors who would be able to take advantage of this type investment. Therefore, I would respectfully request that you withdraw this proposal.
Elwood Syverson, LUTCF