March 23, 2020
I applaud the effort to increase the accountability of fund owners to provide as much information as possible to investors so that they can make informed decisions about investing in leveraged and inverse funds. This concept is no different than an investor being able to research any other type of public security offered in the market.
Leveraged and inverse funds are important to me. They allow me to protect my portfolio, especially in situations like the current market condition.
I do not support the concept of having a third party evaluating my capability to invest in leveraged and inverse funds. Investors need to have the freedom to buy SEC-approved public securities without additional government imposed limitations that will no doubt be administered in an inconsistent manner by third party brokerage companies. I have this situation now, and I am not pleased that one of my brokerage companies blocks me from buying these funds and my other brokerage company allows me to buy them at any time. This appears to me to be a case where one brokerage company is favoring the rich (and working to widen the wealth gap), and the other is treating their clients equally. The government will not stop this type of discrimination against people with lower wealth. I have more money with the brokerage company the blocks me from buying these funds than I do with the brokerage company that allows me to buy these funds.
If these funds are that toxic, NOBODY should be allowed to purchase them - they should be outlawed. If they are going to remain legal, all investors should be allowed to purchase them. This proposal should not only eliminate the third party evaluation of investor capability, but it should ban the current discriminatory practice of some brokerage companies favoring the rich by blocking lower-asset clients from buying these funds.
I foresee another problem with third party evaluation, and that is a proliferation of lawsuits from people who lost money on these funds. They may think it is appropriate to sue their brokerage company to recover their losses due to the failure of their brokerage company successfully exercising their role as "big brother". Lawsuits like this will be costly, and they will push brokerage companies to ban leveraged and inverse funds for all clients rather than risk the threat of constant litigation.