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The Summary Prospectus: the most significant change to mutual fund disclosure since the Investment Company Act of 1940

Len Driscoll (Vice President, Product Marketing, NewRiver, Inc., Andover, Massachusetts, USA)

Journal of Investment Compliance

ISSN: 1528-5812

Article publication date: 13 June 2008

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the SEC's Proposed Release 33‐8861 of November 21, 2007, “Enhanced disclosure and new prospectus delivery option for registered open‐end management investment companies.”

Design/methodology/approach

The paper provides an overview of the proposed rule. It then discusses its impact on the industry, investors, and the environment; and how the summary prospectus could impact retirement plans. The paper answers some frequently asked questions; and provides an implementation timeline.

Findings

The paper finds that the SEC has proposed a rule for a shorter, simpler, standardized prospectus that would tell investors what they need to know within three to four pages and provide web access to more detailed information if desired. The stated goal is provide the average investor with clear, succinct information and also to standardize information to facilitate fund‐to‐fund comparisons. The summary prospectus also offers a significant opportunity to reduce publishing and mailing costs and may provide the mutual fund industry with the impetus to migrate from paper‐based to electronic disclosure.

Originality/value

The paper provides insight from a financial disclosure systems provider.

Keywords

Citation

Driscoll, L. (2008), "The Summary Prospectus: the most significant change to mutual fund disclosure since the Investment Company Act of 1940", Journal of Investment Compliance, Vol. 9 No. 2, pp. 26-34. https://doi.org/10.1108/15285810810886153

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited