(December 20, 2000) – Arthur Levitt has provided much-needed continuity for our markets, the securities industry and investors alike. At a time when record numbers of small, often inexperienced, investors have turned to Wall Street, he has been our nation`s most visible investor advocate.
Chairman Levitt has consistently stood up for the small investor. He has been at the forefront of efforts to arm Main Street investors with the information and tools they need to make sound financial decisions. Under his leadership, the SEC has undertaken several initiatives aimed at helping retail investors. These include:
Plain-English prospectuses so small investors can understand the nature of their investment and the risks involved;
Heightened scrutiny of mutual fund governance to ensure that fund directors act in the best interests of investors they serve;
The adoption of “Reg FD,” the selective disclosure rule, which seeks to level the playing field by ensuring that small investors have access to the same market-moving information as well-connected Wall Street insiders;
New rules governing auditors that ensure the integrity of financial reporting, which is essential for America`s investors, capital markets and the public interest.
Increased emphasis on investor education, including the establishment of the Office of Investor Education and Assistance within the SEC.
One of the most innovative investor education initiatives launched by Chairman Levitt is the Investor Town Meeting series. In partnership with state securities regulators and local newspapers, the SEC has conducted over 40 town meetings in cities and states across the county. These town meetings allow Main Street investors to hear directly from Chairman Levitt and to learn tips on how to save and invest wisely.