August 4, 2010
It appears to me that this truly less about the investor and more about control. Your proposal misses the whole point of the buiness in which we operate. It is a relationship business. Every one of my clients are notified before and at the time of sale of what fees and expenses exist and how often they occur. They are aware that this how I (and my firm) get paid. I have rarely ever had anybody ever balked at the fees or why they are paid. I has been said that "fees only come into question when value is in question."I take time and care to make sure they know the details. So what will ultimately happen is you will lower my ability to make money, increase our paperwork load, increase our liability and do nothing for the investor. You know that MOST investors don't a read prospectus and they generally open/read their statements when the value is down. You will never be able to force them to read it. If so what good have you really done. To me is just results in an increase in the size of Government and more Government spending. I have ABSOLUTELY NO problem with disclosure. I practice it. I am truly tried of our industry to being forced to change when it's our clients who need to be held accountable as well. When I tell my client please read our prospectus and they don't is more "disclosure and less fess" really the issue here. You can lower the fees and plaster disclosure a thousabd billboards and it all still comes down to suitablility, relationshp and performance. Finally, if this whole thing is to simply be the first step to take everything to fee-based then just say so and move forward. I have no problem with that. Stop all the mystery and covert action. Just get in with it. It would seem to me that if this the direction you are going then don't listen to the masses. Given that all of our rules and regulations are a result of the actions of a minority of misfits and therefore affect everybody else then do what you always do and change things to fee based only based on the minority.
Ms. Shapiro, I am for a informed public. I am for full disclosure. I am for makig sure clients are treated fairly. Again, I practive these things daily. What I am not for is constantly having to pay for a lazy, unmotivated public. The more you put on us the less incentive they have to actually take some responsibility for their lives. You know this to true. I am blessed what awesome clients and they are great people. I also know that tehy knwo what I tell them becuase by their own admission they rately read what I give them whether it is a prospectus, an illustration, a brochure, etc. They trust me, period. Your actions will do nothing to enhance that trust. It willonly hurt our industry. But maybe that is exactly what you are trying to do.