US Securities and Exchange Commission - VALIC

Investor Testing of the Proposed Relationship Summary for Investment Advisers and Broker-Dealers

SECWashington D.C., Nov. 7, 2018 — In connection with our ongoing efforts to help address investor confusion about the nature of their relationships with investment advisers and broker-dealers, the SEC’s Office of the Investor Advocate today made available a report on investor testing conducted by the RAND Corporation.  The investor testing gathered feedback on a sample Relationship Summary issued in April 2018 as part of a package of proposed rulemakings and interpretations designed to enhance the quality and transparency of investors’ relationships with investment advisers and broker-dealers. The report is available for review and comment on the SEC’s website.

Jay Clayton, SEC Chairman
Jay Clayton, SEC Chairman

“Based on my discussions with many retail investors over the last several months, it is clear to me that too many retail investors are not aware of the material aspects of their relationships with their investment professionals,” said SEC Chairman Jay Clayton.  “The results of RAND Corporation’s investor testing support our efforts to provide retail investors with a clear and concise Relationship Summary to help them make important decisions about choosing to work with an investment professional.  The SEC staff is carefully reviewing RAND Corporation’s investor testing report as well as other information related to the proposed Relationship Summary that is available in the comment file.”

RAND Corporation’s investor testing of the Relationship Summary consisted of:

  • A nationwide online survey of over 1,800 individuals fielded through RAND’s nationally representative American Life Panel
  • Qualitative in-depth interviews conducted in Denver and Pittsburgh fielded using independent market research firms

This report may be informative to those evaluating the proposed Relationship Summary.  This report may supplement other information considered in connection with the final rule, and the Office of Investor Advocate is making this report available to allow the public to consider and comment on this supplemental information.  Comments on this supplemental information may be submitted to comment File Nos. S7-08-18, S7-09-18, and S7-07-18 and are encouraged by Dec. 7, 2018.