July 27, 2010
I have spent my entire career in the trust industry where the fiduciary standard applies. Likewise, I have spent a large part of my career cleaning up messes and wrongdoing as a result of assets/products sold to investors by brokers that were held to the lower standard of suitibility. The investment world is very sophisticated and many people selling products to investors don't know what they are selling (i.e. auction rate securities), not to mention those who purchase the products. The idea that the law currently allows only a suitibility test is dangerous and as a result, many people have lost their entire life savings or had their life significantly and negatively impacted due to this lower standard. Those that "sell products" or provide advice to the end investor should be held to the higher fiduciary standard so that maximum protection under the law is afforded to that end investor. The two most important things people have are their health and wealth. The SEC should make every effort to protect the latter.
Note: The foregoing comments are my personal opinion and do not necessarily reflect the views of Lydian Bank and Trust. It is not my intent to express an opinion on behalf of Lydian Bank and Trust, only to express my personal opinion based upon 16 years of experience. Thank you for your consideration.