July 1, 2009
The proposed changes will submit smaller investment advisors to burdensome costs, in many cases to an extent that may jeopardize the viability of the advisor's business. Considering the structure of most RIA firms that custody with major financial institutions will not allow Madoff-type theft, it seems to me that the risk of putting honest small business RIAs out of business poses a greater risk to the public than is posed by the very few dishonest advisors. Clients that have accounts managed by RIAs at large firms such as Schwab, Fidelity, and TD Ameritrade receive monthly statements direct from the clearing firm, unlike the clients of unregulated hedge funds. In addition, most clients may view their accounts online at any time. We welcome regulation that is designed to protect the public while allowing the public to be served by decent, hard-working investment advisors. However, this proposal does not fall into that realm. Our firm has secured the services of a full-time compliance person at considerable expense in order to ensure compliance with the large amount of regulation enacted over the past few years. The additional cost of securing an independent accounting firm is prohibitive to the extent that we would be forced to consider raising client fees - something the public does not want at this time, I can assure you. Please reconsider.
Anthony W. Welch, CFP, ChFC
Sarasota Capital Strategies, Inc.
The Currency Fund (symbol FOREX)