August 25, 2010
I urge the SEC to adopt a fiduciary standard for all financial professionals who provide personalized investment advice.
I am a financial advisor who has securities and insurance licenses. I find that my clients do not know that advice can fall under two different investor protection standards. They do not know that some advice falls under a fiduciary obligation, and other advice must simply be suitable. It simply does not make sense to have two different standards for what clients see as the same service.
I have seen countless examples of suitable sales that clearly were not in the clients best interest. If certain products or services cannot meet best interest standards, then those products or services should not exist. I understand that the SEC may not have the authority to ban those products or services, but you should not allow the current situation where a client thinks he or she is getting best interests advice when the advice is merely suitable.
My clients believe that the SEC exists to keep a level playing field and to protect the public. The current dual standard does not do that. Investors expect and deserve a single standard for advice.
The fiduciary standard will help restore faith and confidence in our markets and financial professionals. This is a common sense consumer initiative and I strongly encourage you to provide this simple, meaningful investor protection.