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The Securities Investors' Bill Of Rights (SIBORAP): Part 3/4

Stock-Markets / Market Regulation Oct 30, 2008 - 06:51 AM GMT

By: Steve_Selengut

Stock-Markets SIBORAP includes these ten specific sections: (1) Product Transparency, (2) Regulation and Education, (3) Protection from Speculators (4) Control of Hedge Funds, (5) Brokerage Account Statements, (6) Retirement Account Investments, (7) Executive Compensation, (8) Corporate Financial Statements, (9) Taxation of Investment and Retirement Income, and (10) Transactional Greed and Fear Controls.

Section Five: Brokerage Account Statements.

Investors have a right to brokerage account statements that: (1) help them monitor and manage their asset allocation, (2) report realized gains and losses for the year, (3) track both the cost of their holdings, and their net account deposits, and (4) emphasize the long-term, cyclical nature of the investment process.

Under SIBORAP, all brokerage firms would be required to maintain cost basis information on all holdings, and the ACATS system would be required to provide it in all transfer transactions. Mutual funds would be required to include cost basis information on their quarterly reports. Statements that simply report transactions, and focus only on market value, promote the emotional environment that leads to poor decision-making.

Statements must divide securities into three classes: equities, income, and other and specify asset allocation numbers for each class in terms of cost basis. Each client's equity and income target allocations must be provided and compared with the actual totals. Within each category, sub-categories (e.g., open or closed-end mutual funds, taxable or tax-free income, etc.) would be required.

No combined-portfolio graph or chart presentations would be permitted unless accompanied by supporting charts of the separate asset allocation buckets. Supporting charts must compare securities with appropriate indices, and include lines for both working capital (i.e. cost basis) and market value. Associated commentary must describe market conditions in cyclical terms, and describe what reasonable performance expectations would be for each class of security.

Statement margin information must include warnings about the dangers of margin borrowing. Investors must be given the opportunity to switch any automatic dividend reinvestment arrangements or withdrawal programs to loan repayment.

Investors have the right to statements that inform, report, and educate. Statements should outline reasonable performance expectations for the major classes of securities, the reasons for the assessment, and a sense of how the present environment should be understood in terms of market, economic, and interest rate cycles.

Wrap account statements must make it clear to investors that their accounts are identical in all respects to other clients engaged with the same management program, and that the programs are not being managed just with their personal goals and objectives in mind.

All retirement portfolio statements must facilitate compliance with SIBORAP Section Six.

Section Six: Retirement Account Investments.

Investors have a right to augment employer-sponsored programs and Social Security with self directed retirement vehicles of their own design. Tax Code changes mandated by SIBORAP (see Section Nine) exempt retirement income and (most) investment income from taxation by any level of government, and introduce a new "elective" Social Security option.

Individual investors have a right to safeguards from excessive risk taking in any and all self-directed retirement portfolios, including those provided by employers. Cost based asset allocation and diversification rules must be applied to all portfolios above $100,000 in working capital and in all portfolios for those aged 55 and above.

Asset allocation rules: All retirement portfolios with working capital (cost basis) under $100,000 must have at least 55% invested in top tier (Tier One) income securities. Portfolios with more than $100,000 of working capital must have at least 30% invested in government securities. After age 55, retirement accounts must hold at least 60% (cost basis of securities) in individually owned government securities and/or Closed End Funds comprised of top tier income securities, and which have less than 20% leverage.

Diversification rules: No portfolio in excess of $100,000 may contain a single position that exceeds 5% of working capital, or a mutual fund position that exceeds 10%. Sector allocations should be held below 25% of portfolios.

No retirement portfolio, non-financial corporation, state or local government, foundation, endowment, or other fiduciary entity may own or trade Tier Four securities and contracts, or derivatives that contain such securities.

Retirement accounts that comply with these protective elements are 100% non-taxable, but cannot be borrowed against or withdrawn from before age 60. All Social Security participants under age 40 may elect to use one half of their mandatory salary deductions to fund deferred, fixed-income-only annuity contracts. Google: Guaranteed Social Security Benefits: Make It So, for more information.

Section Seven: Executive Compensation.

Every shareholder of a publicly traded entity has a right to share in the growth and profit of the business to the same extent and in the same manner as the employees they, in effect, hire to manage the business.

Corporate executives and directors have totally lost touch with their equity owners, who were never consulted (in terms that a "Joe the Plumber" could understand) about being compensated strictly in terms of the illusory market value of their holdings.

Corporate executive compensation needs to be brought down to a significantly lower "competitive level", and more of the corporate profit needs to be "spread around" to owners and employees, applied to debt reduction, and placed in reserves for contingencies. It is unlikely that there would be a shortage of qualified CEO applicants at a mere four or five million per year in salary.

Section Seven (Executive Compensation) is continued in Part Four of the SIBORAP report, which also includes Sections Eight (Corporate Financial Statements), Nine (Taxation Considerations), and Ten (Transactional Fear and Greed Controls).

By Steve Selengut
Professional Portfolio Management since 1979
Author of: "The Brainwashing of the American Investor: The Book that Wall Street Does Not Want YOU to Read", and "A Millionaire's Secret Investment Strategy"

Disclaimer : Anything presented here is simply the opinion of Steve Selengut and should not be construed as anything else. One of the fascinating things about investing is that there are so many differing approaches, theories, and strategies. We encourage you to do your homework.

Steve Selengut Archive

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