Subject: PROPOSED RULE CHANGE 34-87607
From: Eamonn Halpin

Mar. 28, 2020

Dear Sirs

I write as a small investor who has been affected directly by a somewhat similar proposal in Europe 

I have held and traded leveraged and inverse funds for the past 10 years such as TZA VXX SDS TLT etc my account is thro INTERACTIVE BROKERS 

Following some perceived change in European regulations I was alarmed that I could not trade my existing positions as my account had been unilaterally limited without my consent or any prior knowledge or notification 
I immediately complained and was met with a glib you can close your positions I explained that this was not what I wanted but rather to be allowed to increase my existing positions when the time was opportune . I continued to complain that I understood fully the products and their inherent dangers but after almost 10 years I was comfortable with this all to no avail.
The unintended consequence of their action was to lock me into those positions as once liquidated they could not be re-established. This was very damaging to me and I suspect the complete opposite of whatever the well intended regulation might have been to protect inexperienced investor.

In 2019 and early 2020 I liquidated the majority of my ordinary stock positions in order to create a fund to take advantage of a future volatility event.

It has been one of the most frustrating experiences of my life to have had the funds available over the last month to place well timed trade orders for these products only to have them blocked each time by a standard notice that these products(although I already hold them) are not available due to my classification as a retail investors .I was thus prevented from using these extraordinary trades to my advantage .
These products do need careful handling however existing holders with proven records of holding or trading these items should not be inadvertently regulated out.
Leaving it to others such as the like of INTERACTIVE BROKERS has been a financial disaster from my own direct experience as they consistently refuse to allow me to trade or upgrade my account to allow me to trade the leveraged positions 
Other traders and brokers with far less knowledge and experience have been allowed to trade away to advantage in the meantime 

The suggestion to leave it to others to decide who can trade what, assumes that those people are knowledgeable and will apply things correctly 
this has not been my direct experience. In my own case I act conservatively, I don’t even utilize margin and yet have been prevented from accessing the products I wanted to buy when I wanted to buy them despite my extensive track record with same .

I would be grateful if you would take on board my salutatory tale as it might prevent others from suffering similarly if you do decide to move forward with your proposals 

Yours sincerely 

Eamonn Halpin