August 2, 2010
I am a registered representative who is concerned about the impact to myself and my clients due to the proposed fiduciary standard legislation. The proposed fiduciary standard legislation will be counter-productive for several reasons. At this point, I already spend 1.5 hours per week on continuing education requirements. This is in addition to the securities licensing coursework that I was required to take. I have a 4 hour mandatory annual compliance meeting, random audits by broker/dealer personnel, and the scrutiny of the mass media and general public. The net effect to my clients is that I am forced to spend more time satisfying the requirements to do business and less time taking care of clients. I believe that the current suitability requirements are more than adequate when properly followed. If there is any breach of trust, current law favors the clients (as witnessed by the many administrative actions posted on the insurance commissioner's website). The option that I have is to move to fee-based planning. However, this can be cost-prohibitive for middle America which is the market segment that needs my services the most.
While no system is perfect, further regulation of advisors will only hurt, not help, consumers.