New rules mixed with the old
From The Wall Street Journal
The PaineWebber Strategy Fund, started two months ago, hasn't performed particularly well for investors, but it sure has been a winner for PaineWebber Group. The fund is one of the industry's most successful start-ups for 1999, gathering $2.12 billion in assets -- second among new-equity funds for the year. The success comes from a combination of old-fashioned big-broker moves, such as recruiting A-list investment pros, and new tricks, such as creating Internet funds. Investors have put their trust in the big names but so far the PaineWebber fund is down 1.2% through Thursday since its Dec. 2 inception vs. the S&P 500's slightly positive performance.
The Fed says don't share
From The Boston Globe
Federal regulators proposed new rules delineating how consumers' personal data will be protected as relationships between banks, investment firms, and insurance companies change. The rules proposed by the Federal Reserve and a Treasury Department division will make it tougher for financial companies to share even seemingly innocent information, such as customers' names, addresses, and telephone numbers, with outside marketing firms. The regulators take the view that this simple information is "nonpublic" information when it is taken from sources such as customers lists - even if the names and addresses are also available from a telephone book.
T. Rowe makes pricing changes
T. Rowe Price is creating a separate class of shares with an added layer of fees for 10 of its funds in an effort to boost its business among brokers, advisors, and retirement plans. The traditional defense against low-cost, conservative investment vehicles aimed at individual investors, is about to change, according to an executive at T. Rowe. The new share classes also marks a significant change for T. Rowe itself, which has resisted imposing such fee share classes. Most investment companies, with the exception of Fidelity Investments and Vanguard, which are big enough to attract money on their own, have created extra fee-carrying share classes to pay for excursions into new distribution channels.
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