August 13, 2010
As a Investment Advisor Representative of Woodbury Financial LLC with nearly 40 years in the tax, accounting and finance world, I would like to express my thoughts on the SEC proposed new legal fiduciary duties for investment professionals. (And read the last comment FIRST and then AGAIN at the end)
1. Suitability standards currently governing broker dealers and registered representatives are already stringent and heavily enforced. Current regulations already provide strong and appropriate consumer safeguards.
2.Requiring compliance with "fiduciary standards" will drive many advisors out of the market and eliminate a valuable advisory resource to consumers, expecially in middle and lower income markets.
3.Additional risk of lawsuits involving registered reps will increase costs to consumers.
4.Driving every registered rep to fee-only compensation will not necessarily result in better, unbiased advice for the consumer. Did you know that not all Third Party Money Managers accept fiduciary responsibility, therefore leaving that responsibility to the rep? How can you say that a fee-based practice is putting the client in a better situation when the advisor is still giving the advice????
It appears that this will only leave the client trying to figure things out for themselves because the advisors will have their hands tied....and we all know what trouble "do-it-yourselfers" have gotten in during this market recession
5.Don't make rules that are going to take out those of us who have high morals, do the right thing and put our client first. Make the penalties much more severe for those that don't follow the rules and give our profession a bad name