August 6, 2010
I have been in the securities and financial advising business for 18 years.
I have always held my clients interest before my own. I have never had any complaints filed against me as a result of the way I operate my commission-based practice.
As a licensed insurance agent and Series 7,6,63, 65, I have taken extra steps to become informed and educated.
Moving to a "fee-only" model would drive many clients away from seeking advice...especially in the more modest income client situations.
Many people need the help of a financial professional to start a plan and continue to have the need for on-going advice helping them navigate the very complicated investment and insurance quagmire. This has been caused by the tremendous regulatory burden.
Our firm has had to hire and train 5 additional Agency Supervisory Officers (ASO) to help comply with the burdensom regulations ALREADY in place. These people do not produce any new business and are a very expensive addition to staff driving up costs that would be passed along to the public in the form of new fees. New fees would in turn cause many new potential prospects/clients to turn away from much needed professional advisors.
I don't see how moving to a fee-only model would result in better advice or unbiased advice. Ethical behavior is the key to a good financial services practice.