August 1, 2010
This is in regard to Fiduciary Standards for Registered Representative being considered.
I have been a registered representative for over 10 years now, and have said my business is so regulated currently, I have to get permission to breathe. There already exists an excess of regulation, testing, compliance, etc. and more will simply put people out of business. No amount of rules will guarantee protection from all perils in a free society. If more regulation means putting more people out of business because it is strangling our resources and assets to keep up how can that be in the best interest of the public?
Some think fee based is the only way of giving unbiased advise. If forced to go the fee based route, many people will not be served. Even with the structure now, fee based professionals have a minimum amount of assets which is generally quite high before they will take on a client--anywhere from $50,000 to $500,000 or more. Very few people are going to fall into the high minimums, and a population of people who are being served now, will be left high and dry. I am commission based but have all the licenses for fee based, and I never recommend anything that doesn't advance the client's goals.
Speaking of the client's best interest which is included in the regulation--what does that mean? No matter what system one uses, what is in the client's best interest is for professionals to stay in business so we can serve our clients. All of us need to be paid in some way just like anyone who performs a job including members of the SEC. We could argue what would be in the public's best interest would be for all SEC and government workers to do the work on a volunteer basis. You cannot volunteer your time and we can't either. People need our services and we have a tremendous amount of risk to make it in this business. We cannot afford needless, additional, and expensive oversite and all clients need to be able to afford services fee based only will eliminate services for most middle and poorer families.
The amount of regulation currently is overwhelming, time consuming, and expensive. We work hard for our clients 60 - 80 hours a week to make sure they have the best service. We are already fingerprinted, tested thoroughly every three years, have a yearly compliance meeting we attend,someone from the office checks our files once a year, each company has compliance specific to them, etc. We have to carry E O insurance which is expensive, state license fees, some company fees, etc. It takes a second person in the office to keep track of everything which adds to the cost. Enough is enough--don't break our back and put the majority of the public in danger of not being able to find professionals to take them on because they do not qualify with the assets they have. Stop and use common sense. We don't need more regulation There are enough rules on the books now to choke an elephant. What SEC needs to do is enforce the ones we already have.