They need your help because they don't seem too skilled at getting out there and finding the run-of-the-mill retail investor. I had stumbled across their web page in September and sent them my two cents worth. They subsequently organized a teleconference to which I was invited along with, I presume, those other folks who had responded. There was a vast crowd on the call, all of twelve people (!) giving their views. Half or more were insiders or industry professionals. Somewhat sad and inadequate participation for such an important subject, I dare say. No one had really been informed that they were expected to give their views so it was quite off-the-cuff. As a result, there was a lot of rambling in the two hours. Sigh...
Here's a smattering of comments I heard (I make no attempt to be representative or comprehensive):
- products need to have full disclosure of risks and costs before sale
- advisors lack training and need a far higher level of education, practical training and experience
- advisors are more motivated by sales commissions and fees than the client's best interests e.g. many advisors won't recommend ETFs
- advisors may mislead by themselves not understanding the products they sell
- some advisors put client money into investments that are highly inappropriate, both from the view of risk and client understanding, i.e. they ignore their fiduciary duty
- the ABCP fiasco is an example of the failure of regulatory bodies to prevent the offer of a bad product and subsequent mis-selling by the industry
- this OSC committee itself is in danger of bias and influence by part of the very industry it seeks to improve, e.g. through the fact that Mutual Funds Dealers Association is a member
A good place to start might be the new disclosure requirements for mutual funds, which blogger Michael James finds to be less than perfect. Btw, thanks to Preet Banerjee over at WhereDoesAllMyMoneyGo for bringing this subject to my attention.
I'm preparing my own comments for an email and will post them on this blog.