August 29, 2010
To whom it may concern:
The pending Dodd-Frank Act permitting the SEC to rquire registered representatives to a loosely defined fiduciary duty is not a good idea and will only impede the investment business.
As with all overbearing regulation, regardless of its intent, costs will be driven up because of added exposure, compliance, and paperwork for the investment advisor. These costs will be passed on to the consumer in terms of added fees and expense charges, thus negating the intended goal of reduced costs to the investor.
Additionally, we already have a "checks and balance" program in place called suitability The prospective buyer must review and sign a suitability questionairre with the representative. This process enables both the advisor and buyer a method of determining the appropriate product or fund for the individual investor. It is then checked by the Broker-Dealer.
Lastly, there is know way possible to determine a criteria that is always a constant and concrete process that i sin the "best interest" of the client. There are many funds, price points, products, fees, service issues, company financial ratings, etc. There is no clear cut method of choosing THE BEST fund/product each time. Fee based planning is not the answer as some advisors may charge a fee and then have not incentive to follow up, monitor and service the client after they have been paid.
At some point, an investor must find someone they trust, educate themselves, and then be held accountable for making adult decisions. There is no "perfect" world and to expect there to be one is pure foolishness.