August 2, 2010
I am writing to comment on the legislation just past and the questions regarding the impact of the pending possibilty of a new fiduciary duty with the new law.
I hold a registered representative designation and have since 1984. I am concerned of the impact this new law will have in driving up the costs of doing business in this field. I am examined at least once a yearby my compliance dept. My files are reviewed by my compliance dept, rules are gone over and sales practices. I spend time each every day making sure that my files are updated and the existing compliance rules are followed. Over the years, the weight of these rules has made things tough. There is a ton of paperwork, filing,forms,documnetation. I have not been able to afford an assisitant, which I need to to help me with this massive amount of paperwork.When I submit new business, my complicance dept reviews each and every sale for suitability for the client. They very thourough in that process. The existing requirements eat into time I could to better service clients.I am concerned that this new ligislation will not serve the consumer best interests. It will add more paperwork, fees to client, and it might even drive me and many other well established good reps out of this field, further diminsihing the consumer from getting the quality choice they now have. To be frank, in my experience, the new clients I add to my practice have benefited from my experience and tenure in this field.Most of the reps in this field are honest, follow the present rules and care for the customer. With or without the current rules. It is a matter of integrity. It is a small few dishonest people, that ruin the reputation and cause
the rest of us to suffer.
I fear that there will be higher costs of liabilty, which means more premiums out of my pocket to do business. These costs will soar with the new legislation. It WILL for ce me out of this field, which I love and many others will follow. Over the last fews years, many people who felt the burden of compliance in theis field have left, they could not handle this burden. I have adjusted, but it is very tough stressful.
This legislation was meant to protect the customer. The current laws do already without this new legislation. I do not feel that the consumer will benefit form the proposed changes coming. Their choices will become limited, reps will leave, the consumer will suffer greatly. The decision to save and the current choices consumers have a vast and they have many many options.That will change. To avoid liability, reps will choose preset models to avoid litigation. That should not be the mindset of the rep when selling. Creativity working with the client in a free process that naturally forces the competition between reps and companies and ultimately the results from that process give the consumer the ultimate choice. They also take risk which has always been part of investing. Regardless of the laws passed it will never be enough for the consumer.
Placing the threat of lawsuits and limiting choices for consumers will not help people retire. It will cripple this generation, and we WIll see that the apathy of the public will take hold and saving and investing will then dimish at some point. People give up when they fear they cannot win and choices they once had are gone. It wil be left to a small few who survive this legislation to help the many. It won't work.
Please consider the many advisors who work tirelessly as I have, to HELP and truly honestly serve the public.