SEC worried about “too much” disclosure

By Staff | November 1, 2013 | Last updated on November 1, 2013
1 min read

Imagine this: A regulator complaining about too much disclosure.

That’s what seems to be going on at the SEC. In a recent speech the regulator’s top official, Mary Joe White, said she would look into “whether investors need and are optimally served by the detailed and lengthy disclosures about all of the topics that companies currently provide in the reports they are required to prepare and file with us.

“When disclosure gets to be ‘too much’ or strays from its core purpose, it could lead to what some have called ‘information overload’ – a phenomenon in which ever-increasing amounts of disclosure make it difficult for an investor to wade through the volume of information she receives to ferret out the information that is most relevant.”

Read: SEC weighs crowdfunding rules for startups

In a column on Eleanor Bloxham suggests White may be misfiring on this this one. “To test out her theory, I asked professionals about the information they thought could be eliminated from the fillings—and about any additional information they’d like to see,” Bloxham writes.

Turns out the pros are quite pleased with what they’re currently getting. “We read these disclosures cover-to-cover. There are often important nuggets of information in unusual places. I’d worry about cutting any of it out,” one industry expert told Bloxham.

Read the rest here.

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The staff of have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.