August 31, 2010
I am writing to voice my support for a fiduciary - clients interests first - standard to be applied without exception to all who hold themselves out to the public as Financial Advisors, Financial Consultants, and similar titles.
This includes investment advisors who of course currently must meet this standard, securities sales representatives, and insurance sales agents.
I hold each of these registrations/licenses and have been providing personal financial guidance to clients for 28 years. I am fully familiar with the various regulatory schemes and the burdensome compliance obligations currently installed. Many of the current compliance burdens are the result of the sales oriented culture so prevalent in the dispensing of financial advice. Reviewing comments already submitted here, it is clear that many of those opposed to a higher standard are arguing based upon what might be good or bad for their business. What SEC must consider is what is best for the consuming public. Ultimately what is good for the public will be good for the professionals providing the services.
The focus of your efforts should be the conduct of individuals offering advice. Consumers have a need, and the right to know that those in whom they place trust are obligated to act in their best interests.