August 24, 2010
I am an Investment Advisory Representative of a Registered Investment Advisor and a Registered Representative of a broker-dealer. I've been serving US citizen investors since 1986.
We need to boldly step forward as a nation now and create a financial services profession and industry that places the interests of our citizens, consumers, and investors first, no matter what kind of financial services they seek or where they seek them.
In addition, to help avoid a repeat of the abuses that put us in the current financial mess, a fiduciary standard of responsibility should be part of our professional foundation.
I urge the SEC to adopt a fiduciary standard for all financial professionals who provide personalized investment advice.
Currently, investors may be getting personalized advice from an investment adviser or a securities broker. But the advice is given under two different investor protection standards. The investment adviser, under a fiduciary obligation, is acting in the best interests of the client, while the broker must simply be making suitable recommendations. While perfectly legitimate under current rules, it simply doesn't make sense to have two different standards for what amounts to the same service.
Investors deserve a common standard and they should not be left to guess what kind of protection they are being afforded. The standard for providing investment advice should be the same for brokers and advisers: to act in the investors best interests. It is what investors deserve and what they should be able to expect.
Requiring everyone who provides personalized investment advice to act in the investors best interests will help restore the faith and confidence in our markets and financial professionals that is so desperately needed.
This is the most common sense consumer initiative the SEC can take and I strongly encourage you to take the opportunity to provide this simple, meaningful investor protection.