February 24, 2004
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this subject. As a consumer with a large exposure in the investment markets, I believe that any information such as you suggest will better enable the public to make informed decisions. Like many subjects, average people are not fully aware of the consequences of many investment decisions.....and the alternatives are not fully disclosed to them by many advisors within the industry who are more concerned about their commissions than they are of tendering the proper advice suited to that investors financial position, age, and ability to understand the positive AND negatives associated with a particular investment.
Such was the case several years ago when an investment was sold to my mother, then nearing 90 years of age, that was unsuitable for her horizon. After filing a protest on her behalf, I was finally denied any satisfaction simply because she had signed the papers...... with never an aside about WHY she signed them and HOW they were missrepresented. Hopefully, this information will be able to be forced into a disclosure so others will not make her same mistake.
Of the two approaches shown to me,attachments #1 and #2 appear to make the most sense as they publish the actual costs that impact the investment over time. This will expose the costs of service and show the subtraction from the actual full investment to a prospect...... ie: If they invest 8,000 most people expect to receive a full 8,000 in shares and are somewhat surprised when that does not happen. It also will show, if done correctly, that class B shares may employ a diminishing, yet obvious, impact of negative value imposed if the investment is not retained for many years. The other examples included in the folder do NOT illuminate the actual amount and as such, is not what I would call full disclosure to the buying public.
Additionally, I would implore you to take action against those who diminish the value of real professionals within the industry. In my opinion, most real professionals study the discipline and understand the variances within it so that by questioning the potential investor, will be able to make correctly suitable suggestions for that investor. When those who are thinking only of THEIR bottom line are enearthed, they should immediatly be eliminated from the profession and suitable punishment must be applied. Only in this way will the buying public be properly protected and gain faith in the expert advice they now think they all are receiving.