August 30, 2010
My comments are on file #4-606. I have been an agent and registered representative for about 25 years now. What I find over that time is that the NASD and now FINRA have both had a good handle on what I do as a registered rep. and any other additional oversight would be overkill in my book. As a rep. my files are reviewed by our complaince department every six months. On top of that any time we make a sale or talk to a client we keep a written record of that in the file. Adding an additional burden to an already complaint oriented business would make it difficult to serve those very people that the SEC is trying to protect. Having a one size fits all type of standard does not fit. Most reps like myself will work with middle to lower income propects. The commissions that are earned are low, however we are helping people plan for their future. Having a fiduciary standard would keep us from helping those that are being inteneded to be help by this standard. If we move to a fee based verse commission based structure we would not be able to serve those people because the fees would be out of reach for most. I todays enviornment most registered reps. have multiple companies from which to choose for their clients. And most reps will do what is in their clients best interest. As in most agencies the one I work with has a full time complaince person over seeing the transactions of the reps. Prior to an application being sent for processing it is reviewed to make sure that the person objectives are being met. I do not have a full understanding of how the SEC carries out it functions, but it seems to me that the SEC works after something bad has occurred while FINRA works to prevent from something bad happening. The news media seems to report on the cases of fraud and they all involve high profile cases in the millions of dollars, brokers taking advantage of high net worth people. Those same brokers are investigated, yet they continue to taking funds from people. While I understand that their can be bad actors in both field, it does not warrant strain of additional oversight of registered reps who are already being held accountable. The one size fits all will further erode the possiblity of the average person to get good sound advice from a person who has the consumers best interest at heart.
Thank you, Don Brown