August 20, 2010
It seems like common sense to me that the application of a fiduciary standard across the industry in the best interest of the consumer. I believe there is great confusion on behalf of investors as to the difference between a financial planner and a broker. Most brokers market themselves as financial advisors helping clients develop financial plans and them recommending the products to fulfill the plans. Financial Planners do the same thing but are held to a different standard just beacuse they don't work for a brokerage firm.
I think history has shown us time and again that brokerage firms really don't have the best interest of clients in their business plans. From sharing revenues between investment banking and analysts to selling Auction Rate securities as money market instruments, to selling limited partnerships and unregistered notes to investors looking for income they have proven time and again their interest lies in profit.
Holding all financial professionals to a higher standard would go far in gaining back the trust that has been lost in the industry due to Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, etc.
Being a governmental authority please look out for the little guy and enforce a fiduciary standard across the industry.