Investment Companies - Restrictions on Mutual Fund Operations

The SEC prohibits a mutual fund from engaging in the following activities unless it meets strict financial and disclosure requirements:

  • Selling securities short
  • Buying securities on margin
  • Participating in joint investment or trading accounts

Otherwise, the fund must disclose these activities and the extent to which it plans to participate in these activities in its prospectus.

Affiliated and Interested Parties
The 1940 Act and its amendments identify two types of people, defined as affiliated and interested parties, who may influence the investment company's management and operations and whose actions must therefore be regulated and restricted by the SEC. They may not borrow money from the investment company or sell any security or property to the investment company or companies the management company controls.

  • An affiliated person is someone who controls an investment company's operations in any way.
     
  • An interested person includes those individuals who have a relationship with an affiliated person which the SEC deems influential in matters of fund operation. These people would include immediate family members of affiliated parties, legal counselors, broker-dealers, and so on.

Furthermore, the board of directors must have 40% outside representation: that is, at least 40% of the board must be made up of individuals who do not have a position with or affiliation to the fund. This restriction includes anyone associated with the underwriter, investment advisor, custodian or transfer agent.

Benefits of Mutual Fund Ownership
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