August 27, 2010
Dear Ms. Murphy:
As a financial planner who has always been under the fiduciary standard, I do not understand how anyone in the financial services industry can sleep at night unless they do adhere to acting in the best interest of the client. Unfortunately, many do not and it is imperative that all financial professionals who provide personalized investment advice be monitored and adhere to this standard.
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. It simply does not make sense to have two different standards for the same type of service. This allows for an easy way out for brokers who pad their own wallet and make "suitable recommendations" based on their own best interest.
Investors deserve the fiduciary standard and they should be able to expect this from all financial professionals that provide personalized investment advice. 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.
Rachael H. Neil, CFP(R)