The Securities and Exchange Commission is on the road seeking public comment on investor experience and the public is responding.
Feedback from retail investor roundtables will guide the dialogue about the commission’s most recent endeavor, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said, a rulemaking package that lays out requirements and standards for investment professionals.
“I found engagement directly with retail investors and the financial professionals who serve them during the pre-rulemaking period, including a roundtable in St. Louis, to be tremendously useful,” Clayton said in a press release. “I believe we need to continue that effort by reaching out directly to investors and other market participants across the country.”
The chairman and four commissioners have conducted two of the six roundtables, which include opening statements followed by breakout sessions with investors. The roundtables are fact-finding ventures to test the suitability of the proposed rulemaking package laid out by the SEC nearly three months ago.
The SEC’s Regulation Best Interest will hold brokers to a best interest standard of care similar to a fiduciary standard, Clayton told lawmakers during a recent visit to Capitol Hill. The agency is accepting public comment on the rules package through Aug. 7.
At the second roundtable, an enthusiastic Clayton addressed a packed auditorium at Georgia State University saying, “The more we hear from you, the more conversations we have, the better we can do our job.”
In-Depth With The Commissioners
The breakout groups are led by the SEC’s four commissioners, highlighting their areas of expertise. The groups cover in-depth topics such as fraud, cryptocurrency, tips for savers, investing in small companies and making mutual funds and ETFs work for you.
During his opening remarks at the Atlanta roundtable, Clayton shared some of the initiatives the SEC is working on to protect investors. Among those initiatives is a database of financial professionals who have prior actions against them. Investors would be able to access information about these professionals before making a decision to trust them.
Clayton also directed investors to investor.gov, an SEC website aimed at keeping investors informed by providing resources like statistics and data, estimators and calculators and the professional database.
Through the rest of July, the SEC will continue its roundtable tour in Miami, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Denver. The SEC encourages investors who cannot attend to share their views by going to sec.gov/tell-us.
“We want your views,” Clayton said.
AdvisorNews Managing Editor Cassie Miller may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Cassie has an extensive background in magazine writing, editing and design. Follow her on Twitter @INNCassieM.
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