August 29, 2010
The distinctions should remain as defined. It is the public that needs to be educated about the differences, objectives and benefits of the three.
The broker is not your 'friend'. The television barkers are merely entertainment and the dealers are in bed with the marketers looking for the next whale.
A person new to the field of investments must become educated to the alternatives and have a basic understanding of the words and definitions used in investing. The investor must take responsibility to gain experience, knowledge and exposure through basic books on Funds, Stocks, how wall street works and to become competent in understanding basic concepts. This can also be achieved on the web through many of the well established and credible forums.
The broker's sole motivation is commission dollars- period. They are facilitators for specific wants but can also generate interest and excitement through 'cocktail tips' in hopes lots of friends will be listening.
The investor should consider the use of a Financial planner to confirm and verify any broker insight that it is in fact in the investors best interest under a prudent man rule and in keeping with the investor's risk/reward overall plan. This assumes the Financial Planner is not also selling Real Estate, Insurance/Annuities, cosmetics and plumbing hardware out of the same office!
With the available options of ETF's, 401K/403B/457 deferred plans, low cost fund families, corporate DRIP programs and the like, it is likely that brokers will have a diminished role with the average investor in the years ahead leaving more room for the credible planners and Mutual Funds to have an impact on the direction of the general public's financial actions.
Enforce the current rules and make some visible examples of those who function outside of those limits. The general public will take notice and applaud your efforts.
Costa Mesa, CA