Richard & Marianne Gosswiller
February 3, 2004
Jonathan G. Katz, Secretary
Dear Mr. Katz,
As investors in mutual funds, we are concerned about the recent illegal and unethical purchases and sales of these funds. But we also believe that one proposal you are considering for preventing such actions will do more harm than good.
SEC Release No. IC-26288: File No. 57-27-03 contains a proposal and an alternative solution. The proposal requires that all orders be physically received by the fund by 4:00 p.m. This proposal will actually hurt average investors such as ourselves. Under it, orders by most investors would have to be placed early in the day to get the 4:00 p.m. price. Orders placed later would get the following day's price, an obvious disadvantage. In addition, we would lose the flexibility of being able to choose between different fund companies as we do now.
We much prefer the alternative proposal. It requires that the order be in the hands of the transfeer agent by 4:00 p..m. The SEC asks, `How would we police compliance with the controls by the fund intermediaries over which we have no regulatory authority?" Your proposal requires that a mutual fund develop a compliance system in which it records and maintains a written record of the date and time it receives transfer information. Your proposal could just as easily require that intermediaries implement a similar record keeping mechanism.
The very heart of this scandal involves the manipulation of an un-level playing field where wealthy insiders were able to engage in practices not available to average investors. The solution to this problem should not be to create a whole different un-level playing field. The old set up created an opportunity for unethical players to profit from stale prices. Under your proposal average investors are going to be forced to accept even staler prices if they want to actively manage their savings.
Your alternative solution is the best one and we urge you to adopt it.