30 Lake Shore Ter #3
Brighton MA 02135

February 3, 2004

RE: S7-27-03

Jonathan G. Katz, Secretary
Securities and Exchange Commission
450 Fifth Street NW
Washington, DC 20549-0609

Dear Mr. Katz:

I am opposed to the proposed 4:00 PM hard close. While the proposal would probably help curb illegal late trading, it would come at a high cost for the average investor. The hard close neglects to address the underlying issue of some investors to having advantages over others. To trade on news which others cannot under current rules, one must illegally engage in late trading. Under the proposed hard close, those who trade through intermediaries such as the popular fund supermarkets will have to submit there trades earlier than those who submit their trades directly to the mutual fund company. This situation clearly favors investors investing with mutual fund companies over those investing through those intermediaries, allowing them to trade on information between the earlier cut off and 4:00. Who benefits from this situation? Fund companies and hedge funds; the same people who are responsible for the problem in the first place. The fund companies benefit because more people will invest directly with them as opposed to an intermediary, so they will have to pay less fees to the intermediary. Hedge funds benefit because they often invest directly with the fund companies allowing them to continue submitting trades until 4:00. This is in contrast to individual investors like me, who invest primarily through intermediaries such as 401(k) plans and may no longer even be able to get trades executed the same day. The increased volatility in the markets over the past decade makes the inability to make timely trades more costly than ever. Instead of creating new rules, the SEC should work on finding means to enforce the rules that are currently on the books. The trade time stamping system advocated by Fidelity Investments is one such alternative.


Mark Sayers