August 2, 2010
August 1, 2010
Doing the best to satisfy our clients investment needs is the goal that regulation is trying to achieve. Each client is different and their needs vary. Choosing an investment professional often is based on the trust that person engenders when we meet them.
Regulations and compliance need to allow room for an advisor or registered representative to respond to our clients needs. Not every client wants the same level of service, nor are all clients able to pay for every level of service that is offered.
In a day where the government is talking about pushing ever more responsibility to the consumer to save for their retirement, registered representatives and advisors will be needed. Compliance, on-going education and layers of paperwork are deterrents to bringing people into the financial services industry, especially to serve the middle income client.
Some of these clients do not have sufficient assets to pay a fee for services rendered. Presenting a fee schedule to a client with only a few thousand dollars to invest would force them to retreat from the market or go it alone on a web based portal which provides no advice. We are aware as a nation that financial literacy is at low ebb. More advisors who will work with their clients providing advice that is suitable to the client is the need not more regulation.
The current level of education and regulation required is already driving registered representatives from the field. Investors with small amounts of money will soon be unable to find someone who will talk to them about investing their assets, as the costs of working with small sums results in negative income for the registered representative. The investor with $100,000 will find the help they need, but those with $10,000 or less will be priced out of the market as registered representatives serving that market give up their licenses due to the cost of regulations, compliance and education. What is suitable for the small investor may not work for the more affluent investor more regulation will kill the ability of the small investor to find anyone to provide assistance.
Our regulations today provide protection to the investing public. It was not the registered representatives who were selling funds to Bernie Maddoffs clients. The problems of the past few years did not stem from a fiduciary vs. a suitability standard. It stemmed instead from existing regulations that were not enforced. Please enforce the rules that exist before imposing new regulations. And then ask How another layer of regulation will add to the investors protection? Because more regulation will create more paperwork and fewer registered representatives to help the people who desperately need help planning for the future.