Like many people I have a 401(k) account through my employer, invested in a few mutual funds. I can appreciate that by law mutual fund companies have to send their clients their prospectuses (prospecti?) whenever there is a change in their investment strategies, but I was getting tired of receiving these booklets in the mail.
I would just give them a cursory look and then toss them in the trash. I assume many people do the same. I doubt even a small number of people would actually read these from cover to cover and then promptly file them with their important documents.
So when the retirement management company gave us the option to receive these documents via email, I jumped at the chance. Alas, I'm still getting these tree-killers, like a large one arriving today via mail weighing in at 70 pages. Makes me wonder why I even bothered signing up for the electronic format.
Now I know these companies are erring on the side of caution. With so much fraud and mismanagement swirling around the financial institutions, they reckon it's better to be safe than sorry. So they just keep mailing the stuff, hoping to avoid a small chance of someone accusing them of hiding material facts.
That's all fine and good, but in this day and age of green living and electronic transactions, shouldn't they at least try to respect the wishes of those of us who opted in for email and adapt their systems? If they're incapable or unwilling to join the digital revolution, they can hire a bunch of Nigerian spammers to handle the task. The Nigerian scammers figured out years ago how to conduct their businesses via email and apparently they are very successful at it.
Even the U.S. government, the paragon of technical backwardness, has been going digital with programs such as e-Filing income taxes. It's about time mutual fund companies learned how to save those documents in PDF and attach them to email.