May 4, 2004
First, please dont overlook the fact that the vast majority of brokers do the right thing for their clients day in and day out. My experience has taught me that those who want to circumvent doing the right thing will, no matter what rules are before them.
More important, however, is to educate investors and to understand that they, too, have responsibilities when making investment decisions.
Investors should read prospectuses. Unfortunately, too many prospectuses are still written in terms that are difficult for most people to easily understand - thus they shy away from reading the material.
Second, more broker/dealers should produce confirmations like those used by Raymond James, which detail fees and charges and explain breakpoints. Again, however, it would be the investors responsibility to read the material.
One final suggestion, in line with the education theme, why not require the exchanges to allocate a percentage of their advertising budgets to educating investors via print ads and TV commercials? If you do, the first segment might just be on breakpoints.