July 30, 2010
I would like to see the employees of the SEC fullfill the present responsibilites of their job before adding new regulations seemingly to protect the consumer. Let's protect the consumer and their financial advisors from an overload of new rules that will not affect those who would have broken the old rules anyway.
My contacts and administration of clients' accounts are overseen daily by compliance officers in our branch office and at the broker dealer. Mail, e-mail, trading, transfers from one investment company to another that might involve churning, security, licensing etc are daily activities of a registered principal and compliance. Annual CE study requirements, compliance visits, requirements for webcasts and computer based training, hours and dollars are invested annully to retain my licenses.
Today the media accent is on 'low expense ratio'. The consumer is being driven by low expenses without regard to the quality of product. The consumer needs a financial advisor who will do the research on a continuing basis to deliver a quantitative mix of low expense and high quality products. The consumer does not buy the cheapest car to drive without regard to quality and comfort.
Unfortunately there are gaps in all overseers, the SEC and FINRA, but FINRA is closest to the rep and BD. Their requirements are consumer oriented, inclusive and in depth. As a representative I support their efforts.
To me it makes sense to service my clients the best I can to retain their and their heirs' business. I get paid to do that, and clients do not mind paying a sales charge, 12b-1 fee or an asset management fee for this service. They call me direct without being directed by an 800 number, passwords, mother's maiden name, or a different voice and personality each time they call. People want personal service and that's why I get paid on products.
Do NOT impose a new fiduciary standard on registered representatives. The SEC has enuf power in their present regulations without adding another layer.