The Investment Company Act has been the curse of mutual funds since it was first passed in 1940 (the "'40 Act"). If you're old enough to remember the Roaring Twenties, then you're old enough to remember the proliferation of unregulated investment pools that precipitated the market crash of 1929.Many unsuspecting folks lost their entire nest eggs in these pools and their lives suffered for it.

As a result, the sale of investment pools were severely restricted. It wasn't until Glass-Steagall allowed banks to commingle funds of trusts through the Banking Act of 1933 that investment pools returned. Their full scale return to public investors didn't occur until the passage of '40 Act. 

There was a major difference between the two acts that redound to today. There's much less regulatory overhead in a trust company's "common trust fund" versus an investment company's "mutual fund." The reason for this difference speaks volumes regarding the current issue of the fiduciary standard.

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