A Soft Idea

Soft dollars is a heavily debated topic these days, particularly among the fund managers who shoulder the commissions load. A new study from The Journal of Portfolio Management asked chief investment officers at 72 asset management firms what they thought not just about the desirability of continuing to pay soft dollars, but also whether they thought it was to eliminate the practice. The conclusion?

Soft dollars is a heavily debated topic these days, particularly among the fund managers who shoulder the commissions load.

A new study from The Journal of Portfolio Management asked chief investment officers at 72 asset management firms what they thought — not just about the desirability of continuing to pay soft dollars, but also whether they thought it was “feasible” to eliminate the practice.

The conclusion? Fund managers would love to unbundle the commissions they pay, but few think it will ever happen.

How would you find the elimination of soft-dollar payments (unbundling)?

Highly desirable 31%
Desirable 20%
Undesirable 6.6%
Highly undesirable 1.6%
Not sure 35.8%

Do you think it's feasible that such services would actually be unbundled?

Highly feasible 5%
Feasible 26%
Infeasible 21%
Highly infeasible 8%
Not sure 40%
Source: The Journal of Portfolio Management
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