March 15, 2004
I believe all persons and institutions selling mutual funds should disclose, in plain english:
1 Full costs--both short and long term-- of funds being offered
2 Any commissions or other incentives the seller receives for selling said funds
3 The time it takes for funds to be moved out of a firms accounts. For example, recently I instructed Fidelity to move funds in an IRA to an IRA at Schwab. They converted the funds to cash in less than week and took over three weeks to move the cash. When asked about the delay Fidelity staff blamed it on me then Schwab. When I pointed out several contradictions in their explanations and suggested I would contact the Attorney General Fidelity moved the funds in two days after a tad more than 3 weeks even though they said it would not be possible to move them for over another week. It appears that they are potentially holding millions in customer transfers in the pipeline to be transfered so they can collect the spread between what they pay in their money market fund and what they can otherwise make--if so a shameful practice.
4 Reference the cost differential between what is being offered and what the typical funds in the same segment of the market charge.
Thanks for your time.