How the SEC’s Marketing Rules Shortchange Investors

Big-shot managers like William Ackman, David Einhorn and others can legally talk up their positons on TV for anyone to hear. So why can’t they divulge their performance figures too?

When Jeffrey Ubben, the CEO of San Francisco–based activist hedge fund firm ValueAct Capital, announced his $2 billion investment in Microsoft Corp. at an investment conference on Monday, it was just the latest instance in a seemingly growing trend among high-profile activist hedge fund managers to announce aggressive new bets in a public setting.

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