August 3, 2010
As a financial advisor for 40 years and with the credentials of Masters of Science in Financial Services (MSFS), ChFC, CLU, LUTCF, and AEP---all acredited designations and a BA in Business I am weighing in against the fiduciary standard proposed to be imposed on Registered Reps. We are currently under a suitability standard that serves the public in a better way than the fiduciary standard being considered. The proposed fiduciary standard looks backwards and enforces breaches retroactively via SEC enforcement and lawsuits. The current suitability standard looks forward and tries to prevent harm to the consumers before it occurs through ongoing and frequent FINRA and broker-dealer audits and compliance processes. Another way to look at it is that one tries to prevent the fire while the other (fiduciary standard) allows the house to burn down and try to rebuild it like it was---this won't work and is not for the consumer. I would also add that we spend allot of time and effort in being reviewed, examined, and staying current on all of our licenses---insurance and securities. We spend time with our clients to determine the correct investments and coverages to meet their objectives and goals---i.e., that it is suitable. If this new fiduciary standard comes into effect my livelyhood is threatened and the stability provided under the present system is removed. I will be forced to go to fee based planning almost entirely which means the smaller investor suffers as they are many times unwilling and unable to pay for the services we now provide via commissions or service fees. The fiduciary standard will not now nor ever will provide greater protection than the suitablility standard now in place governing our broker-dealers. Thank You.