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Industry must take responsibility for lapses

December 6, 2004

Just when the mutual fund industry seemed to have put the market-timing and late-trading scandals behind it, word of another investigation has surfaced. This time, investigators reportedly are checking into whether brokers used lavish gifts...

SEC has it right about market governance

November 29, 2004

The Securities and Exchange Commission has taken a major step in the right direction in its effort to look at strengthening the governance of the nation's stock markets. Voting unanimously, the five SEC commissioners agreed to publish a so-called...

Why fine companies for officers' misdeeds?

November 22, 2004

Three cheers for Paul Atkins and Cynthia Glassman. They are two commissioners who voted against the imposition of fines by the Securities and Exchange Commission against publicly traded companies for misleading or erroneous accounting and other...

SEC needs two tiers of adviser rules

November 15, 2004

It's time for the Securities and Exchange Commission to realize one size does not fit all, even in securities regulation. It should develop two tiers of regulation for the investment management/investment advisory industry, with a higher level...

SEC pushes hedge funds into the sunlight

November 8, 2004

The Securities and Exchange Commission has won its fight to extend its oversight to hedge funds, passing regulations that have been opposed by the $870 billion industry. The SEC's controversial plan to regulate hedge fund managers as investment...

3 key issues for the government to address

November 1, 2004

Financial planners and investment advisers laid out a list of the issues that most concern them in the Oct. 18 issue of InvestmentNews. That list is also a list of the key issues the government must address in the near future. Topping the list...

Memo to feds: Let the FASB do its job

October 25, 2004

The Financial Accounting Standards Board, which announced a six-month delay in its plan to adopt a new standard for stock options expensing, must not buckle from the continued pressure exerted by both big business and regulators. The Norwalk,...

Compliance chiefs aren't SEC spies

October 18, 2004

The Securities and Exchange Commission has assured financial services companies that it won't play "gotcha" based on the first annual reports of their newly appointed chief compliance officers. It must abide by that assurance. To do otherwise...

Hone compliance to guard investor trust

October 11, 2004

Increased regulatory scrutiny has become a part of the financial services landscape. And things are only going to continue to heat up as advisers and broker-dealers face a growing number of compliance issues. Therefore, financial experts should...

CFP Board should recognize fiduciaries

October 4, 2004

It is time for the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. to recognize that CFPs, when acting as financial planners and investment advisers, are fiduciaries. The Denver-based board should acknowledge this fact in its ethics code...

Memo to SEC: Time to ban 12(b)-1 fees

September 27, 2004

Although the Securities and Exchange Commission has yet to complete its investigation into 12(b)-1 fees, some industry observers predict that the probe will be the final chapter for the fees and other transfer payments. It should be the final...

U.S. must budget now for longer term

September 20, 2004

It is time for the federal government to adopt present-value accounting for its long-term liabilities. Present-value accounting would estimate the value of all long-term commitments made by the government to retirees, for example, and then calculate...

Sales to military demand high standards

September 13, 2004

The response should be nothing short of immediate to requests that Congress and the Pentagon investigate the sales practices and products of firms that sell mutual funds and life insurance to military personnel. Kudos to Rep. Max Burns, R.-Ga.,...

Options should be reflected in statements

September 6, 2004

Members of Congress need to let the Financial Accounting Standards Board do its job, and steer clear of the political debate involving stock options. The Norwalk, Conn.-based board issued a proposal in March that firms be required to count stock...

Early-out fees should aid shareholders

August 30, 2004

Most market timers, at least in the financial advisory community, have received a bum rap as a result of the mutual fund scandals of the past year. As a result, the Society of Asset Allocators and Fund Timers Inc. has changed its name to the...

Fed should back off on interest rate hikes

August 23, 2004

Alan Greenspan and the Federal Reserve's other monetary policymakers could be in danger of repeating the mistake they made during the technology boom: sticking with a strategy and a policy too long. The last time, the Fed stayed with a low-interest-rate...

IRS needs more funding to fight tax cheats

August 16, 2004

With the Internal Revenue Service badly underfunded and outmanned, tax cheats have apparently decided that it is open season on the agency. The federal government is cheated out of a staggering $300 billion a year in unpaid taxes, according...

Kudos to FPA on challenging Merrill rule

August 9, 2004

The Financial Planning Association is to be applauded for throwing down the gauntlet to the Securities and Exchange Commission by filing suit to challenge the so-called Merrill Lynch rule. The SEC proposed the rule in 1999 and invited comments....

Corporations, take a cue from Microsoft

August 9, 2004

Cash-rich U.S. companies must begin to share the wealth. More of these companies must initiate, or increase, dividend payments as Microsoft Corp. has done. They should give the cash back to the shareholders and let them reinvest it in ways that...

Candidates must address Social Security

July 26, 2004

The need to fix Social Security is a hot-button issue. However, President Bush and Sen. John Kerry, D.-Mass., continue to remain mum on the subject. The question about the system's future is sure to play a key role in the presidential race....

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