March 17, 2004
The period of time allowed to review this proposed legislation should be extended because of the extensive language and time required for an intelligent review. It appears on the surface that the proposed legislation is a case of throwing the baby out with the bath water. It is obvious the investment industry requires changes because of its growth and complexity, however, the industry has served the public well across the board. We have assisted individuals in all phases of their investment needs for the past 30 years and many have expressed their appreciation for the personal service rendered, in many cases without compensation or hourly billing. The legislation includes what is already being accomplished in most cases and the need to provide disclosure with clear understanding by the investor can be achieved through education and supervision in the industry. The vehicle exists to protect the investor and it is only necessary to utilize the vehicle with integrity. We all have the potential for a conflict of interest in most everything we do in our business lives. It is how that conflict of interest is managed that is important. In many cases,the commission paid by the investor is a bargain compared to a fee that continues indefinitly, providing the registered representative makes a long term commitment to serve his client. The end result of discouraging good people from entering the investment business will, in the long run, prove costly to many clients because of being deprived of a sound business relationship with a service oriented registered representative. Hopefully, the proposed legislation is not politically motivated since the investor will have to live with the results long after this election year.