Although the Securities and Exchange Commission is not requiring fund companies to begin producing summary prospectuses until Jan. 1, some fund companies, including the Guinness Atkinson Funds, have already started to equip investors with the plain English, four-page documents.

“We have decided to make our summary prospectuses available now because we strongly feel this innovation represents a significant step forward in our ability to communicate with current and potential shareholders,” said Jim Atkinson, chief executive officer of Guinness Atkinson.

Creating a four-page document that can stand on its own “took a substantial effort on the part of our compliance team,” he said. Nonetheless, the effort was worth it because investors will be better informed, he added. “Providing a document that is inviting for investors to read rather than filled with industry jargon is a matter of prudent public policy and a vastly improved means of shareholder communication,” he said.

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