Back in the 1990s the SEC proposed some simplification of mutual fund prospectus language. Used to wielding thick prospectus stacks as a defense to legal liability (a tried and true tradition in the United States, they are the "warning labels" for financial products, after all) funds resisted the move. Today, it is afoot again.
The SEC is proposing a mutual fund "plain English" "Summary Prospectus." Apparently, it might be as short as four pages.
As proposed, the summary would focus on the fund's goals, the type of investments it will make, its principal risks, its track record for as long as a decade compared with a market index, annual management fees, sales costs and tax bite.
Not content to just wait for samples, (we are committed to our readership, mostly) Bess Levin and I have been surveying a number of experts and have used the results to assemble a model "Summary Prospectus."
A Prospectus You Can Read [WSJ]