October 27, 2010
While I support new SEC rule 12b-2 and the proposed use of the terms marketing and service fees and ongoing sales charge in place of 12b-1 fees in an effort to improve transparency in disclosure documents. I object to permitting mutual funds to issue a new class of shares at net asset value allowing broker-dealers to set their own sales charge and commission amount.
Competition based on price and cost is only a portion of the picture and some consideration for the need of guidance, service and counsel for middle market investors should play a considerable role in the proposed rule changes.
As broker-dealers lower their sales charges and fees in an effort to gain market share, it will no longer be financially feasible for registered representatives to continue to provide the level of individualized guidance and ongoing service that are currently provide in the middle and lower market clients. The result will be to enable only higher-income investors to continue to receive personalized investment services.
As you are no doubt aware, during difficult investment market periods, many simply follow poor counsel and mimic the market trend resulting in selling at a loss or investing at a high. This avoidance of this behavior is one of the key advantages provided by the personal service provided to customers.
I hope you will consider revising this portion of the proposed changes.