July 30, 2010
I've only got brief remarks about this whole effort to protect the consumer.
The Compliance standard which exists today, the one of Suitability, with the additional state and NIAC regulations are sufficient enough to safeguard the public. States like Florida are imposing arduous regulations already for suitability and the company's must now supervise the activities of their representatives from their compliance departments. This is forward looking, as it catches the violations before they occur. If they don't use the suitability standards already in place-they are subjected to costly lawsuits, which neither they nor the representatives want.
By adding an ambiguous definition of Fiduciary responsibility, the Congress and the SEC are just seeking to be more backward looking in enforcement. I've only got one name to put out there as an example of how well this new standard would work-Bernie Madoff. That's all that needs to be said as to the efforts of the SEC or our government to protect the consumer.
The consumers are protected when representatives wish to be in business long term and do business ethically. This is something you can never legislate. If the government tries to do this it will just end up costing the consumer more and then the consumer will have less representation to assist them in making their financial goals a reality. As more legislation comes, less people will get into the financial field and more will retire because it will just not be worth all the hoops one has to jump through to provide a valuable service.
And this is , as Paul Harvey was fond of saying, "the rest of the story".