October 27, 2010
I have been a licensed insurance professional and registered representative for 29 years. I appreciate you wanting to retain the 25 basis point 12b-1/sales and marketing fee and am a huge fan of transparency. This is the fee that allows me to spend time with young folks starting out, as I am a huge proponent of getting the "20 and 30 somethings" going on long term retirement savings. Heaven knows they are going to need it! My concern is the thought of having broker dealers set their own commission schedule, as you are proposing. To me, this would seem to drive folks to "buy cheap" and I would imagine that the "cheaper" it got, the less time anyone would take to sit down and explain the long-term strategy of saving. Good help does not come cheap. If I am willing to spend a couple hours teaching someone the advantages of taking care of their own future, and they decide to start investing $200 per month, at the current A-share structure of 5.75% up front, I will net $7.70 per month or just over $92 for the year……and the investor gets some seasoned professional advice. I don't get rich doing it, but I enjoy it. However, if we start negotiating commissions, then I will have to take a pass on it. That scares me as this country needs the younger generations to get on it, for their own good and all of ours.
Thanks for your time….
Douglas J. Weisenberger, CFP, CLU, ChFC
North Star Resource Group