August 27, 2010
RE: File No: 4-606
Dear Ms. Murphy:
I am a financial planner and Investment Adviser Representative with 855 clients handling $30,000,000 assets under management. In my practice, I have been servicing clients under a fiduciary standard of care for 5 years. I strongly urge you to extend the Advisers Act fiduciary standard of care to all financial professionals who provide personalized investment advice to retail clients.
It is unfair to consumers that the quality of advice they receive from a financial professional is dependent on the professionalís registration or title. Itís no wonder consumers are confused, and do not know whether their financial professional is looking out for their best interests. I can tell you from my personal experience that adhering to the fiduciary standard of care and putting my clientsí interests ahead of my own benefits my clients and my business.
For simple reason, treat people the way I would like to be treated always. If they like us, if they trust us, if they believe in us, if they thing we are fair and honest advisor, we all will grow and prosper.
My clients recognize and understand that the advice I give them is in their best interests, because: my loyalty is to them first; I will advise them with utmost good faith; I will manage any conflicts of interests that may harm them and disclose those conflicts to them; I get paid for the advice I give them and the investments I select for them; I am required to choose from the best investments available keeping their interests first; and I can charge a fee or commissions based on their needs and preferences.
Adhering to the fiduciary standard of care does not limit my ability to provide my clients with appropriate services and products. As a fiduciary, I can choose to operate in a business model that is best for my client. The key is fully disclosing, and avoiding and fairly managing conflicts of interest. Providing financial advice with fiduciary accountability does not reduce services to middle Americans. It insures that the services consumers receive will be in their best interests -- not in the best interests of the financial intermediary or his or her company.
I urge you to recommend to Congress that it is necessary and appropriate in the public interest and for the protection of consumers to extend the fiduciary standard to broker-dealers, who provide personalized investment advice, and to initiate a rulemaking to achieve this long overdue consumer reform.
Citizens Investment Services