From the September 2009 issue of Investment Advisor • Subscribe!

Alternative Uptick Rule

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  • Risk-Based Oversight of Investment Advisors Even if the SEC had a larger budget and more resources, it is doubtful that the Commission would have the resources to regularly examine all RIAs. Therefore, the SEC is likely to continue relying on risk-based oversight to fulfill its mission of protecting investors.
  • Nothing but the Best Execution Along with the many other fiduciary obligations owed by RIAs, firms owe a duty to seek best execution of clients’ transactions.  If they fail to do, RIAs violate Section 206 of the Investment Advisers Act.

The SEC announced August 17 that it is seeking public comment on an alternative approach to short selling price test restrictions that the Commission says "may be more effective and easier to implement than previously proposed price test restrictions currently under consideration."

The alternative uptick rule would allow short selling only at an increment above the national best bid. As a result, the Commission has reopened the comment period for 30 days--the original comment period for the proposals issued in April ended June 19--in order to receive input specifically on this alternative.

The SEC says it "particularly seeks comments on the alternative uptick rule as a permanent market-wide approach, as well as whether the alternative uptick rule should be combined with a circuit breaker approach."

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