August 24, 2010
The suitability standard currently governing broker-dealers and registered representatives has worked well for years. The only breakdown, of which I am aware, comes when persons do not comply and follow the rules. Making more rules is not going to fix that. Most registered reps do not have and are not allowed to have discrestionary accounts for their clients. Those are the accounts that should appropriately be subject to the fiduciary standard. I am a Certified Financial Planner licensee and a member of the Financial Planning Association. Most registered reps that provide planning and investment advice for a fee, are already held to the fiduciary standard and I think that is appropriate, because their client choose to pay a fee for that standard. What is to become of the millions of Americans that do not want to pay a fee to an advisor should the fiduciary standard become universally imposed on all registered reps?