FORTUNE — Hedge funds soon will be allowed to advertise their wares to potential clients, thanks to a provision in last year’s JOBS Act (which had no direct relation to actual jobs). As will private equity funds, venture capital funds and other alternative investment vehicles that heretofore were prohibited from general solicitation.
Former SEC Commissioner Mary Shapiro opposed the change, so she basically sat on it (apparently believing her personal opinion trumped the directive of federal legislation). New SEC Commissioner Mary Jo White has suggested that she’ll move this and other JOBS Act provisions along shortly.
So in a few months expect the pages of your favorite financial rag and website to contain advertisements for investment opportunities that you probably can’t afford (since you’ll still need to be an “accredited investor” to actually participate). For the 1%, however, a word of warning: Future performance is likely to be worse than past performance.
That’s the finding of a new academic paper that examined the results of mutual fund advertising by companies also manage hedge funds. These advertisements don’t specifically mention the hedge funds — that still would be illegal under current law — but they do compel wealthy individuals to ring the parent organization, which then does a classic up-sell.