17 CFR § 4.34 - General disclosures required.
Except as otherwise provided herein, a Disclosure Document must include the following information.
(a) Cautionary Statement. The following Cautionary Statement must be prominently displayed on the cover page of the Disclosure Document:
(b) Risk Disclosure Statement.
(1) The following Risk Disclosure Statement must be prominently displayed immediately following any disclosures required to appear on the cover page of the Disclosure Document as provided by the Commission, by any applicable federal or state securities laws and regulations or by any applicable laws of non-United States jurisdictions:
THE RISK OF LOSS IN TRADING COMMODITY INTERESTS CAN BE SUBSTANTIAL. YOU SHOULD THEREFORE CAREFULLY CONSIDER WHETHER SUCH TRADING IS SUITABLE FOR YOU IN LIGHT OF YOUR FINANCIAL CONDITION. IN CONSIDERING WHETHER TO TRADE OR TO AUTHORIZE SOMEONE ELSE TO TRADE FOR YOU, YOU SHOULD BE AWARE OF THE FOLLOWING:
IF YOU PURCHASE OR SELL A COMMODITY FUTURES CONTRACT OR SELL A COMMODITY OPTION OR ENGAGE IN OFF-EXCHANGE FOREIGN CURRENCY TRADING YOU MAY SUSTAIN A TOTAL LOSS OF THE INITIAL MARGIN FUNDS OR SECURITY DEPOSIT AND ANY ADDITIONAL FUNDS THAT YOU DEPOSIT WITH YOUR BROKER TO ESTABLISH OR MAINTAIN YOUR POSITION. IF THE MARKET MOVES AGAINST YOUR POSITION, YOU MAY BE CALLED UPON BY YOUR BROKER TO DEPOSIT A SUBSTANTIAL AMOUNT OF ADDITIONAL MARGIN FUNDS, ON SHORT NOTICE, IN ORDER TO MAINTAIN YOUR POSITION. IF YOU DO NOT PROVIDE THE REQUESTED FUNDS WITHIN THE PRESCRIBED TIME, YOUR POSITION MAY BE LIQUIDATED AT A LOSS, AND YOU WILL BE LIABLE FOR ANY RESULTING DEFICIT IN YOUR ACCOUNT.
UNDER CERTAIN MARKET CONDITIONS, YOU MAY FIND IT DIFFICULT OR IMPOSSIBLE TO LIQUIDATE A POSITION. THIS CAN OCCUR, FOR EXAMPLE, WHEN THE MARKET MAKES A “LIMIT MOVE.”
THE PLACEMENT OF CONTINGENT ORDERS BY YOU OR YOUR TRADING ADVISOR, SUCH AS A “STOP-LOSS” OR “STOP-LIMIT” ORDER, WILL NOT NECESSARILY LIMIT YOUR LOSSES TO THE INTENDED AMOUNTS, SINCE MARKET CONDITIONS MAY MAKE IT IMPOSSIBLE TO EXECUTE SUCH ORDERS.
A “SPREAD” POSITION MAY NOT BE LESS RISKY THAN A SIMPLE “LONG” OR “SHORT” POSITION.
THE HIGH DEGREE OF LEVERAGE THAT IS OFTEN OBTAINABLE IN COMMODITY INTEREST TRADING CAN WORK AGAINST YOU AS WELL AS FOR YOU. THE USE OF LEVERAGE CAN LEAD TO LARGE LOSSES AS WELL AS GAINS.
IN SOME CASES, MANAGED COMMODITY ACCOUNTS ARE SUBJECT TO SUBSTANTIAL CHARGES FOR MANAGEMENT AND ADVISORY FEES. IT MAY BE NECESSARY FOR THOSE ACCOUNTS THAT ARE SUBJECT TO THESE CHARGES TO MAKE SUBSTANTIAL TRADING PROFITS TO AVOID DEPLETION OR EXHAUSTION OF THEIR ASSETS. THIS DISCLOSURE DOCUMENT CONTAINS, AT PAGE (insert page number), A COMPLETE DESCRIPTION OF EACH FEE TO BE CHARGED TO YOUR ACCOUNT BY THE COMMODITY TRADING ADVISOR.
THIS BRIEF STATEMENT CANNOT DISCLOSE ALL THE RISKS AND OTHER SIGNIFICANT ASPECTS OF THE COMMODITY INTEREST MARKETS. YOU SHOULD THEREFORE CAREFULLY STUDY THIS DISCLOSURE DOCUMENT AND COMMODITY INTEREST TRADING BEFORE YOU TRADE, INCLUDING THE DESCRIPTION OF THE PRINCIPAL RISK FACTORS OF THIS INVESTMENT, AT PAGE (insert page number).
YOU SHOULD ALSO BE AWARE THAT THIS COMMODITY TRADING ADVISOR MAY ENGAGE IN TRADING FOREIGN FUTURES OR OPTIONS CONTRACTS. TRANSACTIONS ON MARKETS LOCATED OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES, INCLUDING MARKETS FORMALLY LINKED TO A UNITED STATES MARKET MAY BE SUBJECT TO REGULATIONS WHICH OFFER DIFFERENT OR DIMINISHED PROTECTION. FURTHER, UNITED STATES REGULATORY AUTHORITIES MAY BE UNABLE TO COMPEL THE ENFORCEMENT OF THE RULES OF REGULATORY AUTHORITIES OR MARKETS IN NON-UNITED STATES JURISDICTIONS WHERE YOUR TRANSACTIONS MAY BE EFFECTED. BEFORE YOU TRADE YOU SHOULD INQUIRE ABOUT ANY RULES RELEVANT TO YOUR PARTICULAR CONTEMPLATED TRANSACTIONS AND ASK THE FIRM WITH WHICH YOU INTEND TO TRADE FOR DETAILS ABOUT THE TYPES OF REDRESS AVAILABLE IN BOTH YOUR LOCAL AND OTHER RELEVANT JURISDICTIONS.
YOU SHOULD ALSO BE AWARE THAT THIS COMMODITY TRADING ADVISOR MAY ENGAGE IN OFF-EXCHANGE FOREIGN CURRENCY TRADING. SUCH TRADING IS NOT CONDUCTED IN THE INTERBANK MARKET. THE FUNDS DEPOSITED WITH A COUNTERPARTY FOR SUCH TRANSACTIONS WILL NOT RECEIVE THE SAME PROTECTIONS AS FUNDS USED TO MARGIN OR GUARANTEE EXCHANGE-TRADED FUTURES AND OPTION CONTRACTS. IF THE COUNTERPARTY BECOMES INSOLVENT AND YOU HAVE A CLAIM FOR AMOUNTS DEPOSITED OR PROFITS EARNED ON TRANSACTIONS WITH THE COUNTERPARTY, YOUR CLAIM MAY NOT BE TREATED AS A COMMODITY CUSTOMER CLAIM FOR PURPOSES OF SUBCHAPTER IV OF CHAPTER 7 OF THE BANKRUPTCY CODE AND REGULATIONS THEREUNDER. YOU MAY BE A GENERAL CREDITOR AND YOUR CLAIM MAY BE PAID, ALONG WITH THE CLAIMS OF OTHER GENERAL CREDITORS, FROM ANY MONIES STILL AVAILABLE AFTER PRIORITY CLAIMS ARE PAID. EVEN FUNDS THAT THE COUNTERPARTY KEEPS SEPARATE FROM ITS OWN FUNDS MAY NOT BE SAFE FROM THE CLAIMS OF PRIORITY AND OTHER GENERAL CREDITORS.
FURTHER, YOU SHOULD CAREFULLY REVIEW THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THE RISK DISCLOSURE STATEMENT OF THE FUTURES COMMISSION MERCHANT OR RETAIL FOREIGN EXCHANGE DEALER THAT YOU SELECT TO CARRY YOUR ACCOUNT.
(3) If the commodity trading advisor is not also a registered futures commission merchant or a registered retail foreign exchange dealer, the trading advisor must make the additional following statement in the Risk Disclosure Statement, to be included as the last paragraph thereof:
THIS COMMODITY TRADING ADVISOR IS PROHIBITED BY LAW FROM ACCEPTING FUNDS IN THE TRADING ADVISOR'S NAME FROM A CLIENT FOR TRADING COMMODITY INTERESTS. YOU MUST PLACE ALL FUNDS FOR TRADING IN THIS TRADING PROGRAM DIRECTLY WITH A FUTURES COMMISSION MERCHANT OR RETAIL FOREIGN EXCHANGE DEALER, AS APPLICABLE.
(4) If the commodity trading advisor may engage in swaps, the Risk Disclosure Statement must further state:
SWAPS TRANSACTIONS, LIKE OTHER FINANCIAL TRANSACTIONS, INVOLVE A VARIETY OF SIGNIFICANT RISKS. THE SPECIFIC RISKS PRESENTED BY A PARTICULAR SWAP TRANSACTION NECESSARILY DEPEND UPON THE TERMS OF THE TRANSACTION AND YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES. IN GENERAL, HOWEVER, ALL SWAPS TRANSACTIONS INVOLVE SOME COMBINATION OF MARKET RISK, CREDIT RISK, FUNDING RISK, AND OPERATIONAL RISK.
HIGHLY CUSTOMIZED SWAPS TRANSACTIONS IN PARTICULAR MAY INCREASE LIQUIDITY RISK, WHICH MAY RESULT IN YOUR ABILITY TO WITHDRAW YOUR FUNDS BEING LIMITED. HIGHLY LEVERAGED TRANSACTIONS MAY EXPERIENCE SUBSTANTIAL GAINS OR LOSSES IN VALUE AS A RESULT OF RELATIVELY SMALL CHANGES IN THE VALUE OR LEVEL OF AN UNDERLYING OR RELATED MARKET FACTOR.
IN EVALUATING THE RISKS AND CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATIONS ASSOCIATED WITH A PARTICULAR SWAP TRANSACTION, IT IS IMPORTANT TO CONSIDER THAT A SWAP TRANSACTION MAY BE MODIFIED OR TERMINATED ONLY BY MUTUAL CONSENT OF THE ORIGINAL PARTIES AND SUBJECT TO AGREEMENT ON INDIVIDUALLY NEGOTIATED TERMS. THEREFORE, IT MAY NOT BE POSSIBLE TO MODIFY, TERMINATE, OR OFFSET YOUR OBLIGATIONS OR YOUR EXPOSURE TO THE RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH A TRANSACTION PRIOR TO ITS SCHEDULED TERMINATION DATE.
(c) Table of contents. A table of contents showing, by subject matter, the location of the disclosures made in the Disclosure Document, must appear immediately following the Risk Disclosure Statement.
(d) Information required in the forepart of the Disclosure Document.
(1) The name, address of the main business office, main business telephone number and form of organization of the commodity trading advisor. If the mailing address of the main business office is a post office box number or is not within the United States, its territories or possessions, the trading advisor must state where its books and records will be kept and made available for inspection; and
(2) The date when the commodity trading advisor first intends to use the Disclosure Document.
(e) Persons to be identified. The names of the following persons:
(1) Each principal of the trading advisor;
(2) The futures commission merchant and/or retail foreign exchange dealer with which the commodity trading advisor will require the client to maintain its account or, if the client is free to choose the futures commission merchant or retail foreign exchange dealer with which it will maintain its account, the trading advisor must make a statement to that effect; and
(3) The introducing broker through which the commodity trading advisor will require the client to introduce its account or, if the client is free to choose the introducing broker through which it will introduce its account, the trading advisor must make a statement to that effect.
(f) Business background.
(1) The business background, for the five years preceding the date of the Disclosure Document, of:
(i) The commodity trading advisor; and
(ii) Each principal of the trading advisor who participates in making trading or operational decisions for the trading advisor or supervises persons so engaged.
(2) The trading advisor must include in the description of the business background of each person identified in § 4.34(f)(1) the name and main business of that person's employers, business associations or business ventures and the nature of the duties performed by such person for such employers or in connection with such business associations or business ventures. The location in the Disclosure Document of any required past performance disclosure for such person must be indicated.
(g) Principal risk factors. A discussion of the principal risk factors of this trading program. This discussion must include, without limitation, risks due to volatility, leverage, liquidity, and counterparty creditworthiness, as applicable to the trading program and the types of transactions and investment activity expected to be engaged in pursuant to such program (including retail forex and swap transactions, if any).
(h) Trading program. A description of the trading program, which must include the method chosen by the commodity trading advisor concerning how futures commission merchants and/or retail foreign exchange dealers carrying accounts it manages shall treat offsetting positions pursuant to § 1.46 of this chapter, if the method is other than to close out all offsetting positions or to close out offsetting positions on other than a first-in, first-out basis, and the types of commodity interests and other interests the commodity trading advisor intends to trade, with a description of any restrictions or limitations on such trading established by the trading advisor or otherwise.
(1) Wherever possible, the trading advisor must specify the dollar amount of each such fee.
(2) Where any fee is determined by reference to a base amount including, but not limited to, “net assets,” “gross profits,” “net profits,” “net gains,” “pips” or “bid-asked spread,” the trading advisor must explain how such base amount will be calculated. Where any fee is based on the difference between bid and asked prices on retail forex or swap transactions, the trading advisor must explain how such fee will be calculated;
(3) Where any fee is based on an increase in the value of the client's commodity interest account, the trading advisor must specify how that increase is calculated, the period of time during which the increase is calculated, the fee to be charged at the end of that period and the value of the account at which payment of the fee commences.
(j) Conflicts of interest.
(1) A full description of any actual or potential conflicts of interest regarding any aspect of the trading program on the part of:
(i) The commodity trading advisor;
(iv) Any principal of the foregoing.
(2) Any other material conflict involving any aspect of the offered trading program.
(3) Included in the description of any such conflict must be any arrangement whereby the trading advisor or any principal thereof may benefit, directly or indirectly, from the maintenance of the client's commodity interest account with a futures commission merchant and/or retail foreign exchange dealer, and/or from the maintenance of the client's swap positions with a swap dealer or from the introduction of such account through an introducing broker (such as payment for order flow or soft dollar arrangements).
(1) Subject to the provisions of § 4.34(k)(2), any material administrative, civil or criminal action, whether pending or concluded, within five years preceding the date of the Document, against any of the following persons; Provided, however, that a concluded action that resulted in an adjudication on the merits in favor of such person need not be disclosed:
(i) The commodity trading advisor and any principal thereof:
(i) The action would be required to be disclosed in the notes to the futures commission merchant's, retail foreign exchange dealer's, swap dealer's or introducing broker's financial statements prepared pursuant to generally accepted accounting principles;
(ii) The action was brought by the Commission; Provided, however, that a concluded action that did not result in civil monetary penalties exceeding $50,000 need not be disclosed unless it involved allegations of fraud or other willful misconduct; or
(iii) The action was brought by any other federal or state regulatory agency, a non-United States regulatory agency or a self-regulatory organization and involved allegations of fraud or other willful misconduct.
(l) Trading for own account. If the commodity trading advisor or any principal thereof trades or intends to trade commodity interests for its own account, the trading advisor must disclose whether clients will be permitted to inspect the records of such person's trading and any written policies related to such trading.
(m) Performance disclosures. Past performance must be disclosed as set forth in § 4.35.
(n) Supplemental information. If any information, other than that required by Commission rules, the antifraud provisions of the Act, other federal or state laws and regulations, any rules of a self-regulatory agency or laws of a non-United States jurisdiction, is provided, such information:
(1) May not be misleading in content or presentation or inconsistent with the required disclosures;
(2) Is subject to the antifraud provisions of the Act and Commission rules, and to rules regarding the use of promotional material promulgated by a registered futures association pursuant to section 17(j) of the Act; and
(3) Must be placed as follows, unless otherwise specified by Commission rules:
(i) Supplemental performance information (not including proprietary trading results as defined in § 4.35(a)(7), or hypothetical, extracted, pro forma or simulated trading results) must be placed after all required performance information;
(ii) Supplemental non-performance information relating to a required disclosure may be included with the related required disclosure; and
(iii) Other supplemental information may be included after all required disclosures; Provided, however, That any proprietary trading results as defined in § 4.35(a)(7), and any hypothetical, extracted, pro forma or simulated trading results included in the Disclosure Document must appear as the last disclosure therein following all required and non-required disclosures.
(o) Material information. Nothing set forth in § 4.31, § 4.34, § 4.35 or § 4.36 shall relieve a commodity trading advisor from any obligation under the Act or the regulations thereunder, including the obligation to disclose all material information to existing or prospective clients even if the information is not specifically required by such sections.