January 26, 2004
Jonathan G. Katz, Secretary
Dear Mr. Katz:
My firm is an investment advisory company registered with the SEC since 1988. We are relatively small, managing approximately $260 million for about 350 clients. Our clients are mostly middle class and upper middle class individuals or small businesses owned by them.
Almost all of the assets which we manage are held at brokerage house intermediary firms such as Schwab, Fidelity, and TD Waterhouse. The requirement of having all transaction orders received by the mutual fund companies prior to 4 pm will cause our clients to lose flexibility and will give large, institutional investors further advantages over smaller investors. Orders transacted through intermediaries will need to be executed earlier in the day. There must be some reliable method or procedure which can be implemented that would permit transaction orders received by intermediaries by the 4 pm deadline.
It seems to us that, for the most part, the mutual fund companies and their actions are responsible the majority of problems which have been uncovered by the SEC and other regulators. When considering this particular proposal, it appears that the mutual fund companies will benefit the most. Investors who desire to be able to wait until later in the market day will need to hold their account and assets directly at the mutual fund companies in order to accomplish this, thereby removing assets from the intermediaries.
The proposed rule requiring mutual funds to disclose, with specificity, in their prospectuses the policies and rules regarding so called abusive trading, is one which we wholeheartedly support. In order for us to execute our mission properly and effectively we must have this information available to us. It is insufficient for mutual funds to state that market timing and abusive trading policies are prohibited without defining what these practices are.
Finally, we are strong proponents of "Fair Value Pricing". In our opinion many of the abuses would have been prevented if all mutual funds were required to adopt fair value pricing procedures.
Thank you for permitting us to submit our opinions for review.
Very truly yours,
TANDEM FINANCIAL SERVICES, INC.
Joseph B. Ludwig
cc: Representative Barney Frank
Joseph B. Ludwig
25 Christina Street, Newton, MA 02461
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Tandem Financial Services, Inc. is a member of the B&C Group.