Survey examines investor documents e-delivery preferences

A Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA)-commissioned study maintains a majority of retail investors prefer electronic delivery (e-delivery) for its environmental benefits, speed and convenience.© Shutterstock The analysis conducted by YouGov involved surveying 1,312 individual investors nationwide between May 16 and May 19, 2022. Those surveyed held at least $5,000 across retirement accounts, college-savings […]

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A Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA)-commissioned study maintains a majority of retail investors prefer electronic delivery (e-delivery) for its environmental benefits, speed and convenience.

© Shutterstock

The analysis conducted by YouGov involved surveying 1,312 individual investors nationwide between May 16 and May 19, 2022. Those surveyed held at least $5,000 across retirement accounts, college-savings investments, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or a brokerage account.

Per the survey findings, 85 percent of respondents are comfortable with default e-delivery for investor documents in the future, provided they can still opt-in to paper delivery; 79 percent have already chosen e-delivery for at least one type of investor document; and 8 percent want paper copies of all investor documents sent via the mail.

E-delivery proponents maintain the format is safer and more timely than hard-copy mail delivery, enabling investors to review documents in a more user-friendly method, leveraging modern communications technology to create more productive investor engagement.

The survey also revealed, per officials, 79 percent of individual investors indicated e-delivery is an easy way to cut their carbon footprint; 70 percent agree COVID-19 related mail disruptions showed the importance of e-delivery; and roughly half see speed and convenience as primary e-delivery benefits.

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North Carolina secures nearly $202M in federal funds through State Small Business Credit Initiative

The U.S. Department of the Treasury said North Carolina has secured up to $201.9 million through the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) to operate three different programs.© Shutterstock The effort would include a loan participation program in which $160 million has been earmarked. The American Rescue Plan reauthorized and expanded SSBCI, an endeavor initially […]

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The U.S. Department of the Treasury said North Carolina has secured up to $201.9 million through the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) to operate three different programs.

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The effort would include a loan participation program in which $160 million has been earmarked. The American Rescue Plan reauthorized and expanded SSBCI, an endeavor initially established 12 years ago and was successful in increasing small business capital access.

“This historic investment in entrepreneurship, small business growth, and innovation funded by the American Rescue Plan will help reduce barriers to capital access for traditionally underserved communities across the state,” Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo said. “I was glad to have an opportunity to hear from North Carolina small business owners and financial institutions during my visit today and look forward to seeing the impact these funds have in promoting equitable economic growth in North Carolina.”

The program aids lenders with the process of engaging small business lending while providing support to underserved businesses.

The state has partnered with the North Carolina Rural Center to administer the program to support communities in revitalizing central business districts, bolstering neighborhoods, and supporting economic growth.

“The State Small Business Credit Initiative provides vital support for our small businesses, particularly for those who often face challenges in accessing capital,” North Carolina Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders said. “I’m excited to see how this next round of funding will help many of our state’s small, women- and minority-owned businesses across our rural communities grow and become more resilient.”

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Reps. Huizenga, Luetkemeyer introduce INDEX Act

U.S. Reps. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) and Bill Huizenga (R-MI) introduced a bill in the House that would require investment advisors of index funds to vote proxies in accordance with the instructions of fund investors.© Shutterstock The Investor Democracy is Expected (INDEX) Act would not leave the voting up to the adviser’s discretion. Simply put, the […]

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U.S. Reps. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) and Bill Huizenga (R-MI) introduced a bill in the House that would require investment advisors of index funds to vote proxies in accordance with the instructions of fund investors.

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The Investor Democracy is Expected (INDEX) Act would not leave the voting up to the adviser’s discretion. Simply put, the adviser would be responsible for passing through the proxies, collecting the instructions, and voting according to the investors’ wishes.

“The ‘Big 3’ investment advisors are the largest owners in 96 percent of the S&P 500 companies, which is an alarmingly high concentration of unchecked voting power,” Luetkemeyer, ranking member of the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions, said. “The INDEX Act will give investors – including anyone with a 401K, a pension plan, or who owns a mutual fund – a seat at the table and provide much-needed transparency in our corporate governance system.”

The proposed legislation is a companion bill to one already introduced in the U.S. Senate.

“Millions of retail investors are currently having their voices silenced. For too long, passive investors have lacked the ability to influence decisions made by publicly traded companies they own stock in. I am introducing the INDEX Act to restore voting power for retail investors,” Huizenga, ranking member of the Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship, and Capital Markets Subcommittee, said. “Congress must act to hold asset management firms accountable for their politicized actions. The INDEX Act achieves this goal by increasing transparency and empowering retail investors.”

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House unanimously passes Hollingsworth legislation encouraging more investments from venture capital firms

U.S. Rep. Trey Hollingsworth (R-IN) recently introduced legislation encouraging more investment from venture capital firms. © Shutterstock The Developing and Encouraging our Aspiring Leaders (DEAL) Act, which unanimously passed the U.S. House Wednesday night, would provide small businesses and startups with more access to capital to grow their business ideas. “Now more than ever, we […]

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U.S. Rep. Trey Hollingsworth (R-IN) recently introduced legislation encouraging more investment from venture capital firms.

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The Developing and Encouraging our Aspiring Leaders (DEAL) Act, which unanimously passed the U.S. House Wednesday night, would provide small businesses and startups with more access to capital to grow their business ideas.

“Now more than ever, we need to foster the growth of small businesses and local startups,” Hollingsworth said. “This bill will help Hoosier businesses access the critical capital needed to grow, invest in our communities, and create more jobs. I encourage the Senate to act and pass the companion bill quickly.”

The legislation would require the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to expand the definition of a qualifying investment to include broader equity securities. The bill would allow venture capital funds to provide necessary growth capital as those companies go public without having to register as a registered investment adviser.

The National Venture Capital Association said it applauded the legislation’s passage.

“We are pleased Congress is focused on improving capital formation in the startup ecosystem through a more accurate definition of a venture capital fund,” said NVCA President & CEO Bobby Franklin. “If executed properly, the bill will align venture capital regulation with the current realities of the industry. It will also make more capital available for early-stage companies and expand entrepreneurial activity into more regions of the country.”

Similar legislation was introduced in the Senate by U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD)

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Report examines clearing firms, futures markets

The Futures Industry Association (FIA) recently published a whitepaper the organization noted examines the role of clearing firms in futures markets as a resource.© Shutterstock The FIA indicated the work explores how clearing firms could aid public sector stakeholders in gaining greater insight into how the intermediaries support safe and efficient capital markets. Futures markets […]

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The Futures Industry Association (FIA) recently published a whitepaper the organization noted examines the role of clearing firms in futures markets as a resource.

© Shutterstock

The FIA indicated the work explores how clearing firms could aid public sector stakeholders in gaining greater insight into how the intermediaries support safe and efficient capital markets.

Futures markets possess several types of intermediaries providing customers access to the markets and a range of services related to their trading activity. Within futures markets, the clearing firm is an essential type of intermediary.

Per the FIA analysis, clearing firms offer customers a central point of global access to futures exchanges and clearinghouses; maintain a myriad of checks and controls aimed at protecting both markets and customers; are responsible for collecting margin from clients and guaranteeing clients’ obligations to the markets; and contribute significant financial resources to the default funds maintained by clearinghouses.

The whitepaper maintains amid periods of economic stress and market turmoil, futures markets are key in the wake of their resiliency. During the 2008 financial crisis, the futures markets functioned amid financial system stress.

The analysis determined that resiliency emphasizes the importance of futures markets to the stability of the entire financial system.

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House advances Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill

The U.S. House of Representatives recently advanced the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD) appropriations bill for fiscal year 2023. © Shutterstock The bill provides $90.9 billion in funding, a 12 percent over the previous fiscal year. It includes an increase of $8.9 billion for the Department of Housing and Urban Development and $833 million […]

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The U.S. House of Representatives recently advanced the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD) appropriations bill for fiscal year 2023.

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The bill provides $90.9 billion in funding, a 12 percent over the previous fiscal year. It includes an increase of $8.9 billion for the Department of Housing and Urban Development and $833 million for the Department of Transportation. The bill provides $168.5 billion in total budgetary resources, an increase of $11.5 billion above 2022.

“The 2023 T-HUD bill represents a continued commitment in our nation’s affordable housing and infrastructure,” said U.S. Rep. David Price (D-NC), chair of the Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee. “It will benefit rural and urban communities throughout America by growing opportunities for homeownership and rental assistance while also creating tens of thousands of jobs to repair and expand our airports, highways, transit, passenger rail, and port systems. This legislation provides expansive funding for safe, well-maintained, and innovative public housing, including substantial investments in manufactured housing, and transportation, supporting vulnerable populations and addressing existing inequity.”

Specifically, the legislative package includes significant investments in airports, highways, transit, passenger rail, and port systems. Further, it features funding for public housing, community projects, safe transportation, and 140,000 new housing vouchers for individuals and families experiencing or at risk of homelessness. In addition, It includes more than $2.6 billion to reduce emissions, increase resiliency, and address historical inequities in transportation and housing programs, among other mandates.

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Senate Republican voice concerns over net investment income tax expansion

Republican members on the U.S. Senate Finance Committee expressed concerns to their senate colleagues over a proposal to expand the net investment income tax (NIIT).© Shutterstock The NIIT is a 3.8 percent tax imposed on the proposal would impose an additional 3.8 percent tax on investment income over a certain threshold. It went into effect […]

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Republican members on the U.S. Senate Finance Committee expressed concerns to their senate colleagues over a proposal to expand the net investment income tax (NIIT).

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The NIIT is a 3.8 percent tax imposed on the proposal would impose an additional 3.8 percent tax on investment income over a certain threshold. It went into effect in 2013 as part of the Affordable Care Act. This new proposal would expand the NIIT to income earned from pass-through businesses, which are businesses where the taxes pass through to the owner as an individual, not the company. This tax would only be imposed on those making more than $400,000 annually.

Democrats say the proposal would raise $203 billion over the next decade to help improve the solvency of Medicare, according to the New York Times.

However, Republican committee members, led by Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-ID), said the proposal would put many small businesses at risk of paying a higher tax rate. They said it would put 75 percent of businesses organized as S corporations, partnerships, or limited liabilities companies (LLCs) at risk of tax hikes. The Republicans say it would create $252 billion in new taxes, citing the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation.

“This small business tax surcharge would be in addition to the income taxes of up to 37 percent that owners already pay on their net earnings—a tax they pay regardless of whether they distribute the money to themselves or leave it in the business for future needs,” the Republican members wrote to their Democratic colleagues on the committee. “An expanded NIIT would mean an up to 40.8 percent marginal tax rate for some, even before state income taxes are considered. Regarding state income taxes, 43 states have an individual income tax, with an average top marginal rate of 6.4 percent. Adding federal and state income tax liabilities together would result in a 47.2 percent top marginal tax rate for many pass-through owners.”

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Treasury adds nine state plans to aid small business growth

The U.S. Department of Treasury has added nine state plans approved under the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) to promote small business growth.© Shutterstock The Treasury Department has approved over $1.5 billion in funding for the effort. The American Rescue Plan reauthorized and expanded SSBCI. “This is an historic investment in entrepreneurship, small business […]

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The U.S. Department of Treasury has added nine state plans approved under the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) to promote small business growth.

© Shutterstock

The Treasury Department has approved over $1.5 billion in funding for the effort. The American Rescue Plan reauthorized and expanded SSBCI.

“This is an historic investment in entrepreneurship, small business growth, and innovation through the American Rescue Plan that will help reduce barriers to capital access for traditionally underserved communities,” Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen said. “I’m excited to see how SSBCI funds will promote equitable economic growth across the country.”

The Treasury added state plans from Arizona, Connecticut, Indiana, Maine, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Vermont.

SSBCI funding is slated to catalyze up to $10 of private investment for every $1 of SSBCI capital funding, providing small business owners with resources needed for sustained growth.

SSBCI recipients are seeking to target industries and small businesses in need of access to capital. Last year, Americans applied to start 5.4 million new businesses.

The SSBCI investments are part of the strategy to maintain the small business boom by expanding access to capital and providing entrepreneurs with the resources they need to succeed.

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Senate Finance Committee advances Retirement Security and Savings Act

The Senate Finance Committee unanimously advanced the Retirement Security and Savings Act, sponsored by U.S. Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Ben Cardin (D-MD).© Shutterstock The bill, S. 1770, would help small businesses offer retirement plans, expand access for low-income Americans, and allow people to save more for retirement. It passed in the committee 28-0 and […]

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The Senate Finance Committee unanimously advanced the Retirement Security and Savings Act, sponsored by U.S. Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Ben Cardin (D-MD).

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The bill, S. 1770, would help small businesses offer retirement plans, expand access for low-income Americans, and allow people to save more for retirement. It passed in the committee 28-0 and now moves to the full Senate for a vote.

“Today’s unanimous committee vote is another important step in strengthening Americans’ retirement security. At a time when bipartisanship is hard to come by, I am grateful the Senate Finance Committee voted unanimously to make it easier for Americans to save for their retirement,” Portman said. “As the economy deals with the effects of the worst inflation in nearly 40 years, working families need all the help they can get when it comes to saving for the next chapter in their lives and Congress is one step closer to making that possible after today.”

In March, the House passed a similar bill, the Securing a Strong Retirement Act, by a vote of 414-5. This House bill has a significant overlap with the Cardin-Portman bill.

“Helping more Americans save for retirement is a bipartisan effort. I’m proud of the unanimous vote today for this important legislation that builds on the Retirement Security and Savings Act authored by Senator Rob Portman and I. By working together and engaging our colleagues and a wide range of stakeholders, we have a stronger bill today that we hope will be on a fastrack to the president’s desk for signature into law,” Cardin said. “For 30 years, I have worked across the aisle with Rob Portman on retirement security issues. We’ve made real progress over the years, but we have a long way to go to increase the pension and savings rate for Americans and increase opportunities for more Americans to access the retirement system, particularly for lower-wage workers, workers at small businesses and women. We want more Americans engaged in saving for their future, and this legislation strengthens and expands the tools available to reach that goal.”

Cardin and Portman are hopeful to have this legislation signed into law by the end of the year.

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Rep. Doggett seeks to include Pell Grants bill in Build Back Better Act

Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) is seeking to include the Tax Free Pell Grants Act in the House Ways and Means Committee’s portion of the Build Back Better bill.© Shutterstock Doggett, who introduced the Tax Free Pell Grants Act, maintains the measure removes student financial and logistical barriers while enhancing coordination with the American Opportunity Tax […]

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Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) is seeking to include the Tax Free Pell Grants Act in the House Ways and Means Committee’s portion of the Build Back Better bill.

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Doggett, who introduced the Tax Free Pell Grants Act, maintains the measure removes student financial and logistical barriers while enhancing coordination with the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC).

“With access to education so vital to American progress, we need to Build Back Better with greater educational opportunity for all,” Doggett, a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee, noted via a statement. “Because tax treatment of combining the American Opportunity Tax Credit and a Pell Grant remains too complicated, some deserving students are missing out on available financial assistance. Making Pell Grants entirely tax-free expands opportunity. As education builds individual success, Tax Free Pell truly helps us Build Back Better.”

American Council on Education President Ted Mitchell said the organization appreciates the House Ways and Means Committee’s proposal to repeal the taxation of Pell Grants and is encouraging the full House to include it in the final reconciliation measure.

“Pell Grants help nearly seven million low- and moderate-income students attend and complete college annually and are especially critical for students of color,” he said. “But for more than three decades, the portion of Pell Grants spent on non-tuition expenses like room and board has been taxable. Repealing the taxability of Pell Grants is a long-overdue, common-sense way to permit millions of students to retain more of this aid to cover the cost of college.”

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