August 12, 2010
I would just like to say that I believe the proposed legislation regarding registered representatives having a fiduciary duty to their clients is causing much more harm to the overall industry than good.
Reguiring all agents to go to a fee-based model of planning is going to drive a majority of the advisers on the market out of the business, eliminating a major resource to lower and middle class americans. The people who rely the most on the planning work that we do will be put in a position where they can't even afford to seek out imperative advice.
Currently, suitability standards governing registered reps is already stringent and heavily enforced. The current regulations are in place to provide consumer safeguards, which in my opinion are already very strong and appropriate.
By driving reps to a fee-only compensation model is not going to result in better, unbiased information to the consumer. It's going to increase the cost of financial services to the clients because of the inherited additional risk of lawsuits and it is going to result in an environment where truly, the rich will get richer and the ones without their resources will suffer.
Please reconsider how you go about this process. I have nearly 100 families that will be drastically affected by this change.