August 24, 2010
I have been a financial professional for almost 30 years. I have never done anything that I did not believe was in the best interest of my clients. That does not mean that every decision that I arrived at with my clients, turned out to be the best we could have done. Over the past few years, the company I work for has enacted a number of standards and practices, with every transaction being reviewed by a transaction review team, that gets the agent and client involved, to make sure there is full disclosure and that the client is sure of what he is investing in. I do not mind having another set of eyes looking over what we are trying to do, and offering their opinion, but this has resulted in loss of time, and a higher cost of underwriting, that in the end gets passed down to the consumer.
Without a legally defined "best interest" standard, we are opening the door for a flood of unworthy lawsuits. If anyone sees a television AD that asks, Did you lose money in the market over the last 7 years? Contact us. Any financial decision, that resulted in a loss, can be second guessed, since hindsight is always 20-20. And right or wrong, each case has to be defended, which costs more time and money. Best interest can not be left to flawed interpretation after the fact, it has to be a standard way of doing business.
I am asking the SEC to not excercise their authority to impose a misguided fiduciary standard on me, or any other financial professional.