March 17, 2004
I have submitted detailed comments earlier. I saw the Commissioner of the SEC speak yesterday I believe his name is Paul Atkins. I have found your proposed rule to be tremendously harmful to the individual investor. I agree with Atkins and James Cramer, when they stated that after the funds and managers hurting the individual investors with their actions on after hours trading that your proposed rule would now provide these same wrongdoers a huge windfall paid for by the individual investor. This is just wrong. The additional cost of exchanges is not 2 percent per exchange, but mere hundredths of a percent if you research fund families that specifically allow multiple trades.
Many 401k and variable annuities are attempting now, even though there contracts allow daily exchanges, and have for decades to enforce minimum hold periods. I purchased positions for my clients on March 5th which I am now informed I must hold for 2 weeks or the client will lose their exchange privileges. This hold position is regardless of the changing market conditions, changing conditions on event risk witness Spain bombing. Without this artificial rule I would have at least lessened my clients risk with a sale, even if it would have been quick. Market conditions and risk change and the client should be able to change his investment posture when he feels it necessary. By holding, my clients over this 7 market day period have lost 4.71 percent. Thanks alot for punishing them for the transgressions of the people who trade after hours.
You can not stop the markets from reacting or changing directions quickly. They are getting faster not slower. Therefore I feel it is terribly wrong to take the investment decision out of the hands of the individual investor, as you will do with this rule. The fact that it rewards those who wronged the individual investor only makes it that much worse.
I am contacting my congressional representatives and the election campaigns of both parties on this matter. Please put the individual investor in a better position to make his decisions and deal with the market, not a worse position that rewards the funds. Darrell Wiard