July 30, 2010
I am writing today to express my concerns with this proposed legislation and the effects that it will have on my business and similar businesses across small town America. I have been in the financial services business for twenty five years with an emphasis on life, disability, and long term care insurance. I have held a number of security licenses for over twenty years. The added cost of compliance, continuing education, and liability insurance keeps increasing year after year.
I have earned my income from commissions paid by carriers for distributing and servicing these products. I have two full time employees that have been retained for servicing purposes only. We always put the needs of the client first and follow the golden rule. I have slowly been preparing my staff and office for a fee based practice over the last two years. The complexity of disclosure and compliance associated costs will never protect the public from an unscrupulous advisor. We promise our clients full disclosure and deliver.
We have chosen over the years to focus on risk based insurance products as the building blocks of financial security planning. These needs have been ignored over the years as the discussions around dying too soon, living too long, or becoming disabled arent as sexy as the discussion of potential returns in a particular investment.
Charging clients up front for services rendered would make the job of financial security planning much more difficult. Putting the small town life insurance agent in the same boat as Wall Street is akin to making the pond fisherman subject to commercial fishing rules. We do similar tasks but dont need the same rules. I am also perplexed as if this will actually protect consumers from misguided advice.
Please dont put all financial service professionals under the same rules as Wall Street. They dont know about small town America and it is becoming more difficult to attract talented young people into this business. More regulations will not help.
Joe B. Jones