Financial advisors want fund companies to disclose their portfolio holdings more frequently and to include more detailed data in those reports, according to a study released today.

Sixty-seven percent of advisors surveyed said they could provide their clients with better advice if mutual fund companies disclosed their holdings more than twice a year. The study was conducted by Harris Interactive, of Rochester, N.Y., for MetaMarkets.com, of San Francisco.

The Securities and Exchange Commission currently requires companies to disclose such holdings every six months, said Dave Nadig, MetaMarkets’ executive vice president and co-founder. Many fund companies do disclose their holdings more frequently than the SEC requires, but those firms are in the minority, he said.

Portfolio disclosure is a prickly issue, especially among large fund companies that say telling where and when they invest will cause other smaller investors to 'run in front of them,' Nadig said, who has long championed full disclosure of portfolios.

'I think the real reason there’s such opposition to this is that it adds a layer of accountability that some fund companies are not willing to stomach,' Nadig said. 'You open yourself to constant scrutiny. People can see what you’re actually doing with your money. That’s like being a chef in an open kitchen. It puts the pressure on. It also makes you a better chef.'

Forty-five percent of the survey’s respondents said that monthly releases of portfolio holdings would ensure a sound balance between a shareholder's right to know what he is investing in and a fund company's desire for privacy, according to the study. And 33 percent said they would like to see such reports on a quarterly basis.

The study surveyed 538 fee-based financial advisors between March and May.

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