The Securities and Exchange Commission is requesting public comments on financial literacy and investor disclosure issues that it is studying as part of a review mandated by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
Section 917 of the Dodd-Frank Act directs the SEC to conduct a study of retail investors’ financial literacy and submit its findings to Congress by July 21, 2012. The SEC is using qualitative and quantitative research, including investor testing, to help inform the study. To supplement its research, the SEC also is seeking public comment on financial literacy and investor disclosure issues.
Consistent with the Dodd-Frank Act’s specifications for the study, the SEC is seeking comment on methods to improve the timing, content, and format of disclosures to investors regarding financial intermediaries, investment products, and investment services. It also requests comment on information that retail investors need to make informed financial decisions on hiring a financial intermediary or purchasing an investment product or service typically sold to retail investors, including mutual funds. In addition, the SEC seeks comment on how to make investment expenses and conflicts of interest in investment transactions more transparent to investors.
“Many of the issues that the Dodd-Frank Act identified for Commission study directly affect individual investors. As a result, we are especially interested in receiving comments from individual retail investors,” said Lori J. Schock, Director of the SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy.
The public comment period will remain open for 60 days, following publication of the request in the Federal Register.