The SEC has proposed rule amendments that, if adopted, would include a yearly “surprise exam” by an independent public accountant for investment advisors who have custody of clients’ assets to make sure those assets exist and that they’re being handled properly.

Currently, audits are required only if the investment adviser directly mails customer statements instead of having a qualified custodian, such as a bank, mail the statements.

Following the Madoff case, is the proposal a reasonable move by the SEC to safeguard client assets? Tell us what you think.

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