August 24, 2010
To Whom it May Concern:
I am writing because I am concerned about the proposed new legal fiduciary standard that the government wants to impose on broker dealers and their registered representatives.
I disagree that this will help consumers more than they are protected now and may actually set them up for higher costs.
I disagree that the fiduciary standard has protected consumers better. Basically, the fiduciary standard looks back and enforces breaches retroactively through SEC enforcement or private lawsuits. The suitability standard looks forward and tries to prevent harm to consumers through ongoing and frequent FINRA and broker-dealer audits and compliance processes.
Compliance costs-both in terms of finances and time-are high, and those costs are eventually felt by clients. Adding another layer of regulation means another layer of compliance, and even more cost to clients.
I spend many hours a year in continuing education to be in compliance and keep my licensing which results in my dedication to the suitability of the product for my clients.
I think this new rule would be a dis-service to registered representatives and to consumers alike and if the SEC really wants the best for consumers we need to leave the system alone. As my Granny used to say,"If it ain't broke, don't try to fix it" Sometimes even in government we need to listen to sage advice from those in the front lines who meet with customers every day.