SEC Issues Investor Bulletin on Alternative Funds

The SEC has issued an Investor Bulletin advising investors that they should be aware that alternative mutual funds hold non-traditional investments or use complex investment or trading strategies. The SEC warns investors of their unique characteristics and risks. It also compares these funds to hedge funds in the Bulletin. Finally, it notes that investors should keep in mind a number of characteristics and risks before investing including: they can have widely different investment objectives; they may have additional risk given their investment strategies which may include leverage, use of derivatives or short selling, futures contracts and swaps; they often have higher mutual fund expenses than traditional mutual funds; limited performance histories which do not include a major market downturn, and are dependent on the level of professional expertise of the fund manager. FAIR Canada recently provided its comments on alternative mutual funds to the CSA. We recommend, among other things, that such funds not be offered to retail investors until such time as a statutory best interest standard has been implemented.

February 06, 2017