The Securities and Exchange Commission has signaled that additional regulation for hedge funds is needed to protect wealthy individuals and retirement funds that invest in alternative investments, the Associated Press reports.

SEC Chairman William Donaldson has inched closer in recent weeks to calling for new guidelines requiring hedge funds to register as investment advisors, and in a speech delivered last week before the Society of American Business Editors and Writers , he signaled another shift toward stricter regulations for alternative investments.

In some of his most poignant remarks, Donaldson expressed dismay at the fact that the fast-growing hedge fund industry is largely exempt from basic recordkeeping requirements and spot examinations by securities regulators. He also said the dangers posed to individual investors and retirement funds by securities violations at hedge funds potentially overshadow the rights of accredited investors to do business with unregulated asset managers.

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